Friday, April 29, 2011

Out of Control...

Sorry it has been a while since we posted last.  We don't have much of an Isaac update other than Dane's vote for his middle name is Bisaac. Depending on how much sleep I have had, this middle name seems better than some of the others we have thought of!

Well I think the title of this post really captures the last few weeks in general.

We had hoped to get more information about Isaac and his health condition, his birthdate and then when we would be able to get his package off to him, but it seems like things are in a lurch.  With the US and Ethiopia in the middle of changing policies, it seems to have put everything on hold. ;(  We are Out of Control.

The meeting I attended basically ended up with the result of the process will change on the US side in the next 30 days.  I have kept my eyes on the US State Department and USCIS websites and haven't seen anything yet.  From what the government officials were saying, the problem with the process seems to be in the order that it happens on the US side.  It's kind of complicated (understatement of the year), but what the US wants to do is start their embassy research at the same time Ethiopia does.  Right now, (if I understand correctly) the US research starts after the Ethiopian research is done and that means the child falls out of citizenship in Ethiopia, but isn't quite a US Citizen yet, so not having a nationality, it really not a good place to be.  This of course requires more coordination with the adoptive parents and adoption agencies, as the US currently doesn't know a child is being adopted by US Citizen(s) until after the Ethiopian government has put their stamp of approval on it.

Short version...It looks like we are going to be guinea pigs.  At least on paper. Better than in the laboratory, right? We are completely Out of Control.

On the way for a work trip to Portland, right after all of the news about the traffic control personnel falling asleep, etc., we were on the runway getting ready for take off and all of a sudden, the plane moved extremely fast into a 180 and as we are moving off the runway, we can see a plane land right where we were at...Scary and you guessed it, Out of Control.

My meetings in Portland were extremely stressful and exhausting, I pulled one full overnighter and another almost overnighter, and at the end, it probably wasn't worth the loss of sleep, but again, Out of Control.

Then on the way home, in the Portland airport, I had just passed through security and they had a lock down.  Well, I was so tired and for some reason didn't think this security lock down was real or something, so I kept getting my shoes on and my bags together (I know I wasn't doing anything malicious, so they should too, right?).  After being pushed down and forced to stop moving around, they gave us our instructions and moved on.  The scary part to me about this, is that they have the right to use lethal force if someone refuses to comply.  I think I will pay a little more attention and make sure I get at least 4 hours of sleep each night in the future, but again Out of Control.

And the thing that is really blowing my mind is that with Dane, we are ever so careful about who watches him, what he does, his health, how clean his living quarters are, his food (all organic, right?), and with Isaac, we have no control.  We are trusting complete strangers to care for his well being, and these strangers may not have access to enough food for him, they may not have the medical equipment or information they need, they may not have the time to care for him, and he may not have the best of everything that we want to give him.  We are completely Out of Control.

But the thing is, if I did have control, I am not sure how I would control a situation half the world away, in a language I don't know, in a terrain I don't know.  In other words, it's probably best I am not in control.  And the thing we are both learning is how much God IS in control.  He knows all of the details of how and when, in fact, he knew Isaac was part of our family before he was born.  So until such a time as I know everything, I am going to be happy to be Out of Control and trust God to care for little Isaac and to submit my requests for his health and well being through prayer.

Please continue to pray for our little man too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some Fun Blog Statistics

Every once in a while I click on the wrong tab in the blog maintenance and I see who, where and how many people are looking at the blog and today, this just amazed me...

  • 1000+ people have viewed the blog at one point or another (different IP Addresses - NO I can't see the IP address, but apparently big blogger [brother] knows)
  • 6 continents (so when will penguins in Antarctica be able to get iPhones with FB apps? lol!)
  • 32 Blog posts by us
  • 15 Different websites feed into! (Loves to all of you!)

and what it is so awesome to me is that there's one little man who will know that this many people from so many parts of the world heard about him and were interested in him and his journey, before he had even met us.

I will try to update about the April 6th meeting by the end of the week, we were hoping to get another update from our agency before we posted about that meeting. :)

Blessings everyone!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Isaac: The Next Steps!

So, we have filled out all of the paperwork and it's on it's way, so I thought I would share some of the next steps, because we are very excited about them....

First, we get to send Isaac a small care package.  It was so wonderful to me because, Dane thought if this idea as one of his first responses.  He wanted to share a toy with Isaac.  After talking it over with our agency, she recommends a small blanket and a book of family photos and pets with names in English.  I have been very excited for this day, as my little scrap-booking fingers are ready for this challenge!  And I know that the critic (Isaac) will probably end up chewing on it, so I won't have to worry about getting it all perfect as much as withstanding a one-year old's daily routine and teeth. :)
Example word going in the book!

I think we will make a family outing to pick out a small blanket for him, oh, just one little blanket for our son, this will be helping us with the practice of restraint!

Isaac has a condition, hypotonia, that is probably the result of not having enough one on one attention.  It means his muscles are not developing quickly enough, and he is not walking yet.  This is actually pretty common with children in orphanages because they are often left in their crib for long periods of time.  Makes me sad that our arms are so ready for him, but we can't hold him yet. :*(  The good news is that they just had a transition house open in Addis Ababa where they may have room for him to go and there he would receive more attention and likely spend less time in his crib.  We don't have a court date, and it sounds as though we will have about two months notice once we get our court date, so this is good since we had thought we might have less time to let our employers know.  Of course, since court dates are the big hold up right now, we could be waiting months for our court date.

So our prayers are that we travel to Africa twice this year, the second time bringing little Isaac home.  Please also pray for his health and safety and that if he is moved to the transition house, that he makes this transition well.

Many blessings and thank you so much for your support!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dane's Little Brother: Isaac

Last week, an hour after we got our Friday update, we received word of a little 12 month old boy from the mountainous regions of Ethiopia named Yisak, a Jewish name for Isaac, who needs a home.  Well let's just say that little Isaac has a home in Spokane, WA, even if he's not able to come live with us today.

When I got the call, I was in shock.  In fact I was a little confused.  We had thought we would be waiting 6 months to be at this point, but God had different plans. My immediate reaction was wanting to fly there right then and hold him and let him know he is loved. I look forward to that day!

Kevin and I had planned to go to dinner at a "fancy" place that night for a date, but I convinced him to go to the place where we have talked over all of our adoption decisions and he didn't suspect anything...I showed him the picture and asked "Does this look like Dane's brother?" and we both rejoiced and were very excited, cried happy tears, etc.

Telling Dane, his first thought was, "I hope he likes pirates!"  Then he went to his room and made room for Isaac on the bottom bunk.  We had just made a paper chain to let Dane how long until we leave for a trip we are going on, and Dane decided he wanted to make one for when Isaac will come home. I told him that will take a while, so I'm not sure when we will make it, but it's going to be a big project that won't be 100% right!  Whenever we go places where he hasn't told them about Isaac, he runs around with a picture of Isaac saying, "This is Isaac.  He's my brother!"

What we cannot believe is how perfect Isaac fits into our family.  First, Patty's brother, Paul's middle name is Isaac.  Paul's adoption had a major (wonderful) impact on Patty's life and is one of the major reasons why we decided to adopt.  Second, Isaac means laughter, and we are definitely a joyous, joking, and laughing family.  In the Bible, Isaac was Abraham's son whom God had given him in unexpected circumstances - very much so with our little Isaac.  Also, the picture we have of  Isaac at 12 months is VERY similar to a picture we have of Dane at the same age.  Similar outfit, similar pose, similar expression, and let me tell you, Isaac has Waite ears! He's also VERY tall, so it looks like I will be towered over by all of the boys! It is so apparent to us how God knew that Isaac belongs in our family despite his birth location!

There is so much we want to tell you, but these are just the highlights!

As many of you know, we cannot post pictures of him on the internet, until the Ethiopian government says he is legally our son, so, if you want to see his photo, you will have to stop by!  But, we didn't want to leave you hanging, so a VERY proud big brother drew some pictures for you:

Dane on Left, Isaac on Right
Artist notes: Dane is pink, Isaac is brown, they both have the same size ears.
Mom's notes: I am thankful that Dane recognizes the differences between them, as this is natural to do, but I really like the time, and care he took to make Isaac's photo, compared to the quicker version of himself.  I also love that they are both smiling with BIG smiles!

So many of you will ask when little Isaac will join us in Spokane, and I wish we could tell you, but the best I can do is tell you that only God knows this.  The many changing laws, procedures and case loads in the Ethiopian Family courts will affect the time line and since this has all significantly changed in the last 30 days, we just don't know.  Our hope is to have Isaac home by Christmas.  Hopefully the USCIS meeting on April 6th will bring us a better answer on this question.

We should be receiving updated information on his health, his birth certificate and more in the coming weeks and we will let you know more as we know more!

Thank you everyone!