Sunday, August 28, 2011

the rest of trip 1 to Ethiopia...

 I recently realized that I never got past day 3 of our trip to Ethiopia. With trying to get past the jetlag funk, snuggle with our 4 sweet kiddos at home, process our trip and just plain exhaustion, I never finished. Then came the big announcement that we passed court, and the rest has been a whirlwind. That being said, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share the photos and events that took place on days 3-7 of our trip 1 to meet Bedilu and Meron.

Day 4
We started out our day like all the others at our guesthouse in Addis eating the most amazing food prepared by chef David. Some sort of crepe/pancake with maple syrup on top, fresh squeezed pineapple juice, coffee and fresh fruit. We arrived at the Transition Home with a renewed sense of excitement to see our kids again. Today was the day that we would celebrate both Meron and Bedilu's birthdays... since their birthdays are both in July, we thought it would be fun to have a party and celebrate. Jeff and our dear friend, Yonas picked up a cake at a bakery in Addis called Bilos. It was perfect!

The cake says, Happy Birthday to Bedilu and Meron


Singing to the kids!


































All of the kids at the Transition Home sang, in English, the Happy Birthday tune to Meron and Bedilu. It was soo sweet. I'm pretty sure that Bedilu LOVES being the center of attention.






















Here is Bedilu blowing out the candle... he had to climb up onto the table to reach it. And I think we had to relight it 3 times, because the wind kept blowing it out!





































All of the kids enjoyed the celebration, and I think Bedilu and Meron were wondering why they were the center of attention. It was one of the BEST ideas, and I'm soo glad that it worked out. To say that we enjoyed it would be an understatement.


After our time with the kids, it was off to lunch at Lucy's Restaurant with all of our fellow adoption peeps in country with us.























our friends, the Snyder's with their little girl




















our awesome travel coordinators, Yonas and Eyob. Miss you both!

Brandon and Jen Hatmaker. Love them.

Sweet Debb Marquez who I've gotten to know through our journey to our babies!

A new DEAR friend, Anna Dreyfus. Miss you, girl!


































































 After lunch, we went to the university museum, then back to the TH for dinner, late night chatting and the best part, we sat around with our friends and prayed for our court date... the following morning. It is SOO good to be with people that have the same heart for adoption that we do, but also Love the Lord like we do. God has placed some amazing people in our path and we feel so honored to walk this journey with them.

I'll leave you with these sweet pics of our kiddos... the ones that we're fighting for. The ones that we went before the judge the following morning and told that we want to be there parents forever. 



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hang on!

As I received word from our family coordinator today that we were once again not submitted to Embassy, my heart grew heavy. Very heavy.
































Imagine 2 of your own children that you love being half way around the world.  This love that we have for them is FIERCE. It's unconditional.

Right now, when they are sick, we're not there to comfort them. When they scrape their knee, we're not there to kiss away the pain.

We want to cuddle and kiss them. Giggle and be silly. Laugh and play. We want to teach them about Jesus. Read goodnight stories to them. Hold them and Love them forever.


We WERE there. For 7 whole days. We held them. We bonded with them. We love them just as much as we do our other four children. This wait is painful.

I know. this is raw. this is my heart today. heavy and so sad.

But just like the Lord's mercies are new every morning, my sweet daughter, Maddie wrote a note on the board in our homeschooling room, and when I walked in, this is what I read:

Mom and Dad,
I LOVE you guys so much! God is doing amazing things in your lives through this adoption journey. But I know this is the tough part for you guys, but if He brought all 4 of us to you, brought you to Ethiopia and back and if He answered so many prayers already in the past, He can certainly answer this one prayer. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU GUYS! Keep hoping and praying!!!  Love, Maddie Jane Seevers.

um... ahem. to say that I am humbled and moved to tears by this girl would be an understatement. seriously. 

She is 13. I love her heart. I love that she gets who God is and His unfailing love and faithfulness. I love that she understands what it means to be adopted into HIS family, so she gets why we are adopting Bedilu and Meron into OUR family. For LIFE.

This note was such balm to my weary soul.

And then there was this note from my amazing hubby: 

Don't give up! I just wanted to take a minute to encourage you. You are awesome, babe. I love your passion. I love that you love our kids so deeply. God is going to continue to use you and our story in a mighty way. Keep believing that God is writing our adoption story…and He’s not quite done yet. And what a story that will be. Just picture the party that will be happening in heaven when we pick them up and take them home forever. It will happen. I love you. Hang in there honey.

http://bible.us/Gal6.9.MSG So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. 

And then this morning, Lincoln climbed into bed with us. As usual, he started in with his mumbling and chattering away. At one point he said, "Come, Bedilu! Come, Bedilu!" He's soo ready for another brother/playmate. I love it!

I love how The Lord uses people in our lives to minister to our souls...

So we wait in hope for another Wednesday when we will be submitted. Praying, Believing for next Wednesday.

Psalm 130:5
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

We're coming Bedilu! We're coming Meron! Hang on!




 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

numbers mean nothing.

The other morning I woke up with some things on my mind. Mothers and the orphan crisis.

My wife and I have been in the process of adopting for over a year. We just passed court and became the parents of two incredible Ethiopian children and we could not be more excited. However, amidst the excitement there is sadness about a problem. A really big problem. It's called the orphan crisis. For those of us who have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, we have felt the immense burden for the voiceless children who are left in the horrible wake of some catastrophic statistics.

But I'm not going to put them here. Why?

Because you don't care.

That's right. We don't care about numbers. 1 out of every 11 women are dying due to pregnancy related issues, and yet those numbers mean nothing to you or me...yet.

I saw a video when we first started out on this adoption journey where Eric Ludy talked about "depraved indifference". In essence these terms boil down to the fact that because we are not directly impacted by these people, i.e. the number of people starving in Africa, or the number of women that die during childbirth in developing countries, we won't be moved enough to act. Tough words to swallow, but they are true.

I know, I know...I've said them too. You're thinking, "but what can I do about children in Africa starving, or mothers dying during childbirth? These problems are massive." And you know what? You'd be right. They are massive.

Consider the orphan crisis. There are an estimated 163 million orphans the world over. And the number continues to climb. One would think, this challenge is insurmountable. Again, you'd be right, IF you did not believe that you are capable of making a significant impact, Well, maybe it's time for a little pep talk.

Look what happens when that number becomes a face. Consider what you helped BEMM accomplish with one mother who had a stomach tumor, that if not removed, would die. You mobilized. You acted. And you know what? She is a mother alive today because you cared enough to act. You didn't help a number. You helped a person.

























You are capable of saving a life. Yes, you heard me. YOU...are capable of saving a life. Not just any life. A mothers life. You could impact the orphan crisis in a very real and personal way.

Numbers are people. Do you care about them?

Prove it. Act.


I've come to Please visit www.bemm.org and together we can make a difference. They are raising money for an ambulance that will serve 24 rural villages and save 15-20 lives every month!

I think we can agree, these are numbers I think we can all rally around.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Forever

This was written last night right before I went to bed... This morning, we are humbled and pleased beyond words to announce the two newest members of the Seevers family! Bedilu Elijah and Meron Ruth!


Dear Bedilu and Meron,

Tonight is the LAST night that you will sleep as orphans. FOREVER.
 

















In the morning, it will be official that Daddy and I are YOUR parents. Forever.




















You will no longer be alone. You will no longer wonder if anyone loves you. You will KNOW that you have a mommy and daddy and 4 siblings that adore you. We love you, unconditionally. Forever.




















We have waited for this moment since God first laid it on our hearts to adopt you... that was 20 months ago. We have been pursuing you with our hearts since then. Of course, The Lord knew from the beginning of time that you would be our children. He knew that you would be a part of our family Forever.




















You see, even though He never wanted you to be without a family, when you no longer had a biological family, He hand-grafted you into OUR family. The Seevers family. Forever. Our hearts are full. We will love you with our whole hearts. Forever.





















We will snuggle you, and read stories to you. We will giggle and play. We will teach you how to play hide and seek and how to count to ten. We'll take you to our favorite places. Show you all of our favorite movies. Share our favorite snacks with you, forever. Most importantly, we will share the love of Jesus with you. We will teach about His Saving Grace, His Faithfulness and His Sovereignty. And how by giving His life for you and me, we can become adopted into HIS family, forever.




























Our hearts will never tire of loving you, cuddling you, kissing your cheeks. We will never tire of singing sweet lullabies to you, dancing around the kitchen acting silly, finding out what your favorite colors are, what your favorite flavor of ice cream is, figuring out WITH you what your gifts and talents are... your interests. We will love you forever.


















Bedilu, not only do you have 2 older sisters who adore you, but 2 brothers who can't wait to wrestle and with you,  and how to catch fireflies at night. They are eager to share their legos and cars with you, and play with you on our swing set.












































Meron, your sisters can't wait to play dolls with you, cuddle with you and put pretty bows in your hair. And your brothers can't wait to read stories to/with  you, kiss your cheek and brag on you to everyone they meet.





















To say that you are already loved by us would be a huge understatement. Just as Christ adopted us for life by giving the ultimate sacrifice, His life, to cover our sin, and by doing so grafted us into the family of God, we too have adopted you FOR LIFE.


















You are now grafted into our family... FOREVER.