Thursday, July 28, 2011

One for the Money, Two for the Show, Three to Get Ready. And Four to Go!!!

It's amazing to think that a month ago we were going about our day like a court date wasn't imminent and then now it's right around the corner!

We have been taking care of last minute details, packing lists, shopping, reservations, changing reservations, executing wills, collecting donations for the orphanage, getting house and puppy sitters, puppy health issues, changing puppy sitter plans and more.

Last Friday, Mr. Peabody passed away.  It was tough, but after 13 years of being our #1 pup, he made his exit. We are thankful this happened before we left, but very sad to see him go.  He was a great dog, and health declined quickly over the last few months.
R.I.P Mr. Peabody

Last Sunday, we took the day to go out to the lake and it was a great way to spend time together as a family!

We all had a great time inter-tubing and spending time with our Associate Pastors.  They have been at the church for 20 years this year, and it's neat to get to spend time with them away from church and get to know them better!

As many of you know, this process takes two trips.  The first trip is our court date.  The next trip is our embassy appointment, after the court and citizenship paperwork has been issued.  We won't know any of the details of timeline until after the court date has been completed and paperwork has been issued.

We aren't posting exact dates or information, but we ask that you pray for our health and safety as well as a successful trip.  Also for Dane to be comforted while we are away and for Isaac to be ready to meet us and for us to be able to spend as much time as possible with him while we are there.

Thank you all of your support!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vaccinations...A Painful Blessing

This week has been a long week of preparations, vaccinations, notarizing again, and hopefully by the end of the week, we will have our wills updated again and off to Portland I (Patty) go for the annual users conference for work. A few days later we depart for what will be the most exciting trip of the year and possibly our lives, meeting Isaac.

As we were looking at the "menu" of vaccinations I started to think about how blessed we are in the United States. Kevin and I are going into a country, where in order to be safe for (mostly) the first times in our lives, we are having to be vaccinated, or medicated to prevent:
  • Polio (endemic in Ethiopia)
  • Yellow Fever (welcome to mosquitos in Africa)
  • Malaria (welcome to the Malaria season.)
  • Measles (outbreak in Ethiopia this week)
  • Tetanus (my plan had been to wait until I stepped on a rusty nail to get this one)
  • Meningitis (welcome to dorm/orphanage living)
  • Typhoid (welcome to Typhoid)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • and more (various stomach bugs that we will take preventative antibiotics for).

With my fear of needles, this took a little more bravery than for most people, but other than weird after occurrences (loss of feeling in hands, sore arms, nauseousness, metallic taste and exhaustion), it wasn't as bad as I expected. 

About 120 children recently have died in Ethiopia because of the measles, and here in the United States we have a vaccine that will prevent it.  I have avoided shots at all costs since the extensive dental I had done as a child.  Now I am seeing them as a blessing; albeit painful.

My first reaction to the news of the outbreak was anxiety for Isaac, but then I started thinking about the others who aren't lucky enough to be in an orphanage.  All of the child-led-households without parents and started to remember how blessed we are.  We believe God has blessed us in order to be a blessing to others, and we pray that God will use us while we are there to do this.  We have recently learned of a few options we might have to serve while we are there, and we pray God will open the doors, make these options safe and allow us to have flexibility to see Isaac as much as possible, make our court date, as well as serve.

We found out our tickets included two checked luggage and two carry-ons each, which is way more than sufficient, so we are working to get medical supplies, formula, and a few other items to people who can use them over there.  If you happen to have some unopened formula canisters that you will not be using and have expiration dates of 08/2012 or later, we would be happy to take them with us.  They will be appreciated!  As we confirm the list of items needed, we will post them.

So please be praying for us as we enter this few weeks of craziness, that Isaac stays healthy, that we stay healthy, and that God uses us to be a blessing to others.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Get Out the Fireworks, We Got a Court Date!!!!

So two days before we would have missed having our court date before the rainy season and we recieved an AWESOME and UNEXPECTED phone call...We have a court date, August 2nd in Addis Ababa.  And now the moment we have been waiting for for over a year has come.  I'm sure the fireworks on Monday were really for Isaac!!!!
Fireworks from Arrow Point, Coeur d' Alene, ID

It's kind of weird when you adopt.  You immediately start out thinking about the moment you will meet your child, romanticize the moment along with the travel to go get them (forgetting about the long and difficult trip back home) and start thinking of all of the things you will want to take on the trip.  And then you get distracted with a bunch of "busy work" home studies, learning patience, government paperwork, adoption education, agency paperwork, learning MORE patience, fundraising, government processing changes, lots of questions on how the process is going (which requires more patience) and then all of a sudden you have four weeks to get everything together for a trip half way across the world and it just seems surreal. 

Our current flight plan (to be revised in the morning), will take 44 hours and 21 of those hours will be spent in Amsterdam (hoping we can see the Wernars while we are there!).  The cost is about two times of what we budgeted.  So we are trying to check all options a little bit more before we commit.  Eeeeekkk..

Almost an emotional paralysis.  A year ago, I had a list of things to take started, but now I am scouring the internet for a better checklist.  I watched a couple of videos over the weekend where people had seven EXTRA LARGE bags packed.  This did not include the carry-on luggage.  Now I haven't done this go across the world to spend time in court, but somehow, I think this is a bit excessive.  I have traveled internationally with two suitcases and feel that that is excessive so it will be interesting to see how this goes.

We won't be bringing Isaac home this time, but we will be getting to spending time with him, moving him to his new foster home (that will provide more stability, food and care for him and make room for another kiddo in his home region), and then when we come back for the Embassy appointment (we still don't know when), we will be able to see him and start caring for him ourselves immediately.

So, in other words, your prayers are working.  Please keep praying for the little details to work out and for our safety in health in the travel, Isaac's continued safety and health and for those who are caring for him.

Many blessings!