Our email that went out yesterday. Yes. In pink.
Loved ones and prayer warriors!!!
We just received confirmation from Gladney that our dossier is complete and we are officially ON THE WAITLIST for a baby girl!!!!!
Our dossier will now go to the US Embassy in DC, then on to Ethiopia. Currently the wait to a referral - when they email us a photo of an available baby along with any information - is an average of 8 months. (Go here to see Wes & Layla's description of getting their referral yesterday!) So hopefully by April we will see the little girl who will be ours!
The baby is not chosen yet. We have requested a newborn girl. So whenever our name is up, we will get the next available baby. Gladney does not give us a number like some agencies do, but their is an unofficial waitlist where we can sort of track our progress called the Gladney FBI list.
We will have to fly to Ethiopia for one court date. If all goes well, that should be in June. Then we must pass another court date that we do not have to be present for. After that, we receive an Embassy Appointment, and that is when we will make plans to fly to Ethiopia and bring her home!
We are so excited! And now the hard part begins. Because as you know...
Thank you SO MUCH for all your prayers, encouragement, checks, love, hugs, kinds words.....we have been overwhelmed with love and support!! It has touched both of us so much to see the Body of Christ love us through this time as we seek out God's next addition to our family!
On that note, here is what we are praying for, and we would love to have you join us in approaching the Father:
1) Please pray for Bethie, this child that God chose for us before the foundations of the world were laid. Pray for her health, that she would continue to develop properly and have a safe delivery into the world.
2) Pray for her birthmother, who is now probably pregnant with her and will soon either 1) die during childbirth or shortly thereafter (the maternal mortality rate in Ethiopia is 1 in 7) or 2) have to go through the heartbreaking experience of giving away her child because she is too poor to care for her. Either one is a sure sign of a sinful world. Pray that the peace of Christ surround her. We also pray that she would know Christ as her savior, that we may one day all rejoice in Heaven together.
3) We are praying for our family as we live out these last days as a family of six, that we honor God during the wait and continue to be His mouthpiece for the plight of the 147 million orphans in the world. We pray that more opportunities would become available to awaken the church to the crisis going on in our country and our world.
4) We're praying that I don't go stark raving mad during this waiting period
5) Here's the big one: the Ethiopian courts close for about 2 months during the rainy season of August and September. If our process goes off without a hitch, we could possibly bring her home before then. If not, it would be months before the time that we meet her and bring her back, which means we would miss that much more of her infancy. So we are praying fervently that we will have her HOME BY AUGUST '11! It will take a minor miracle for this to be accomplished - but nothing is too big for our God, he has shown us that over and over throughout this process! We know that God has a "thing" for orphans and we are so blessed to participate in his care for them. And, of course, we are excited to get another baby girl!!
Other questions we've been asked a lot:
- We still have about $16K to raise. About 10K due upon referral, and then our travel expenses. We are confident that the Lord will provide it, as he has provided over $10,000 so far. We received a grant from an organization called Lifesong this week that will match any funds we raise up to 4K, so that is a huge blessing and praise!
- Oh yes, we are still taking garage sale donations. Our garage is literally so full we can barely close it, and as soon as it cools down a tiny bit we will have another one. And another. And another. We have so much stuff that I could really, really use help this time - it will be much more than a 2 person job. If you are open to that, PLEASE let me know!
Again, thank you SOOOOOO much for being so dear to us during this process and for sharing in our joy on our journey to Bethlehem!!
Love, Walker and Missy
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.