It has been 2 full weeks since we announced that we are now officially “expecting” another daughter (via the news of our referral for our adoption). We want to first take a moment to give God the glory for the amazing outpouring of love and support we have received. He has truly been moving hearts in ways we never would have imagined and we have heard story after story about how our journey has inspired, brought hope, and given the opportunity for so many of you to step out in faith. Thank you for sharing those stories with us…they help us to remember that God is doing SO many amazing things through our adoption journey, not only in what we are experiencing first hand, but also in how He is impacting the lives of so many others too.
It is amazing.
As of today, we have received over $12,600 in donations to help us bring ‘Hope’ home. Friends, that is over half way to being fully funded. In just 14 days.
14 days, 70 donations, over $12,000.
God is moving.
It is amazing.
YOU are part of this miracle.
So..since we are now “expecting” and so many of you have joined us in this journey, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of your questions we have received over the last two weeks as well.
What does “official referral” mean?
Well, for starters, if you didn’t think God could truly do ANYTHING, think again! This is proof. It’s a miracle. It means that ‘Hope’ has been officially matched with our family for the purpose of adoption. It means that she will not go to a different family or spend any nights in the orphanage without a family waiting for her…officially. She has a family, and it is US!
Paper, paper, paper.
Wait, wait, wait.
Pray, pray, pray.
Our next step is to submit our case to the “PAIR” process, which is new since we began this journey almost three years ago. Our agency will submit our home study along with all of ‘Hope’s’ documents to US Immigration to review it all and hopefully approve our case. Once it is approved there, it will go to the US Embassy in Ethiopia where they will have to review and approve it as well. Once this is completed, we will receive a letter that is then sent to our agency and we can be submitted to court. This PAIR process has been known to take 2-5 months depending on how quickly it is approved or if any other documents are needed once they review it. PLEASE PRAY OURS IS APPROVED PROMPTLY WITHOUT ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS REQUESTED!!! (We have still not been submitted to PAIR as there is one document in limbo…we should be submitted next week.)
When will she come home?
Once we pass the PAIR process, we will receive our court date (could take 2 or so months to get) where Tom will travel to Ethiopia and we will officially become ‘Hope’s’ parents. After court there will be more paperwork to process in order to get her the documents necessary to come home (new birth certificate, passport, medical/physical exam etc). Then there will be a final appointment with the US Embassy (2-4 weeks after the court date) to approve her US Visa, and she will come home as our daughter!!
Is there anything that could slow the process?
The tricky part is that the courts close for the summer months due to the rainy season, so if we do not pass the PAIR process and get a court date before they close in June, that pushes things back 2 to 3 more months. So, we are asking for fervent prayers over the timeline and approvals so that she doesn’t have to wait longer than necessary. And as I said, approvals of all these steps are key….without approvals of each of these steps, we can’t move forward.
When do you “expect” her to be home?
Time and time again, we have learned that we cannot put a timeline on this adoption. In one of my first journal entries I was looking back on, I wrote that I thought she would be home in 4 months. I laugh at myself now for thinking that, as we have learned that we cannot put a timeline on this adoption as things can change at a moments notice. BUT, we feel right now that the “best case” is that she would be home in the next 6-8 months.
Is there anything I can do to help?
PRAY: Prayer has brought us this far and will get her home in the end!! Please specifically pray that approvals are met in a timely manner and that there are no more delays. Pray for her heart as she transitions to new environments. Pray that God will continue to provide for us as we move forward in faith. And ultimately, pray that His perfect will be done.
SHARE: Share our story with your friends and family…you never know who needs encouragement and this is a PERFECT example of God’s faithfulness…both in the good parts and in the hard parts of this journey. He remains the same and has NEVER left us, will NEVER leave us, and LOVES us (and ‘Hope’ & YOU) more than we can ever imagine!
CONSIDER DONATING: Unfortunately when adopting internationally there are significant financial requirements. Because of so many generous donations received over the last 2 weeks, we have been able to pay a significant portion of our agency fees. However, there will be more fees as well as we move forward and eventually travel (twice) to Ethiopia. In our previous blog Relentless Love Returns (click here to read it) there is a breakdown of all the fees we will need to complete the adoption. If you would like to make an online donation, you can donate in the right column of this blog via Paypal or GoFundMe (you must view the full website to see these options if you are on a mobile device). We have also been receiving donations in the mail. If you would like to donate that way to assure we get 100% of your donation, please contact us and we will give you the information needed.
We also still have some Relentless Love t-shirts, hand made beaded necklaces from the village where we first met ‘Hope’, and Ethiopian coffee for sale. Please let us know via comments on the blog or facebook message if you are interested in purchasing something.
Thank you for joining us in our journey to bring our daughter home.
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31