I’m writing this post because I’m still here, on the waiting side of things.  I’m still struggling with unanswered questions.  I’m still holding out hope that things will happen sooner than later.  I’m writing this post because one day, I might be on the other side.  The side where things seem to have gone correctly and we ended up with a family after all.  I’m writing this now because it’s the time I can actually say this stuff when it matters most – to  anyone who is dealing with waiting, confusion, hope that’s lost it’s way – to anyone that thinks that life is unfair at best – to my future self that might need reminding.

God is here and God is good.  All that He desires for us and all that He desires to accomplish through us is good.  This journey of trust in Him was a lot more than I ever thought I was getting into, and is stretching me more than I want to be stretched.  I want to give up, I want to pity myself, I want a break.  I want to be mad at someone, something, anything.  I need to cry more… why do my emotions catch up with me so late, and then hit so hard sometimes?

This passage in Romans on adoption, given our circumstances, has made me pause.  I find myself reading it over and over, we’re not there yet, not to adoption, but this is how I feel as I wait.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

There is something more I’m waiting for – something bigger than that hole in my heart for a child, or to be a mother.  I’m waiting for eternity, for my adoption, to be named and to be home.  I am reminded that my heart is not set on the fulfillment this lifetime can offer, I still won’t be whole, happy, satisfied with a husband, children, a home on the countryside  - you name it.  I am waiting for something my God has already given me, something I take comfort in now and long for in the future.  I have already been given what is good, right and perfect and I could not ask for more.

My life can be wasted in the waiting, I’m learning that, or it can be a testament to the life I’ve already been given.


News for the month: our agency has assured us that, while the wait time is still lengthening for the Ethiopia program, we will be getting a phone call for a referral by March or April of 2013.  I know we’ve been in this boat before, where we wait up until the deadline and then things change – but our agency has never been so specific with dates (and even numbering the families that are before us!) so I trust that this time around, we have a finality to this whole process.  I am excited, and yet still living in a time where every day seems like 100.   Both Eddie and are having a hard time in this wait, that always seems to stretch longer than we could have ever imagined – and then stretch again.  But there is a light. : )

Also, I’m posting these pictures cause I like them, they’re some of my favorites I’ve taken with my phone this past year… why I can’t take pretty pictures with my actual camera, I don’t know, maybe it’s just too big.



Two days ago Ed called from work to have me look at our adoption agency’s blog.  This is what we found (I’ll explain below….)

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Now let me educate you: if you click on the “adoption calendar” tab to your left you will notice that our “DTE” {Dossier To Ethiopia} was 12/17/10.  That is the start of our long wait for our referral according to our adoption agency.  That date marks the time in which Ethiopia accepted our application and that date is the time marker we constantly refere back to in order to calculate how long we’ve been waiting for our child.  The current average wait time – from DTE to referral is somewhere in the range of 18-24 months.  So far, we’ve always approached the longest estimated wait time only to have our agency contact us and tell us the time time period has once again been exented and they’re expecting our wait to be a much longer one.  However, you’ll notice that last month 10 INFANTS WERE REFFERED TO FAMILIES!!! YAY!!!  AND…. ONE of those families happens to have a DTE time of 12/10/10 – just ONE WEEK before ours.  This is the first time I’ve seen a December  2010 DTE on the monthly referral update, and the first time I tasted the tiniest tip of the ice berg of what it might be like for our adoption agency to give us a call and tell us they have a child waiting for us in Ethiopia.

12/10/10 – oh how I love you.  I could stare at that date all day.  I do, sometimes, I just keep it up on my computer and think about how close we just might be.

And then I stop because I don’t like crying in front of computers.



Ed’s 30th birthday was on May 13th – Mother’s day – a Sunday – and a preaching day for him.  He pretty much wanted to sit at home like all his previous birthdays and do nothing, maybe last minute have some people over for dinner or a BBQ outside.  He’s pretty simple.  But this time around, being his 30th and all, I HAD to do something!!  Friday I surprised him with a camping trip with close friends, Sunday a surprise video played before church (I’ll post that later!!) and on Monday I surprised him with tickets to see Conan!!  Notice all the “surprises”, yeah, I pretty much just attacked him with secrets that weekend that have been on the brink of discovery for months – It was SO. HARD. I will never do that again!  I can’t keep it in, it gives me mini heart attacks and I have to stop and breathe to calm myself down in corners of the room unnoticed.  SO. HARD.  Anyway, here are a few pics of the conan experience – you can’t take photos inside the taping so we sneaked one little on they way out…

Us on the show – I’m in the bright orange shirt in the middle – Katie MacDiarmid to my left and then Ed and Ryan to my right!!  This is Ed and I’s moment of fame : )  Our heads appeared on the bottom of the screen during the “Audiency Awards” – highlighting the couple right behind us – like my TBS forehead stamp?And this picture below is my favorite, Ed’s face as he’s watching our show a few days later…. 

OK, now for what we’ve been up to this last week!!  WOOD FLOORS!!!!  We finally talked it out and discovered since our house is two story that we didn’t have all that much square footage to cover if we wanted to lay down wood floors in our kitchen and living room – it was the perfect timing, we found a great deal on hard wood and, most importantly, we agreed on something we liked!  So…. here’s what we did Friday-Monday … (warning, there was some blood involved in this endever).

Our animals always want to be involved in the messes we make – so here they are watching, a little concerned… 
A big thanks to Ryan MacDiarmid and Scot Bernhard for carrying heavy objects and smashing our tiles to bits!!  Thank you for putting your lives on the line for our floors : ) 
Above: Ed smashing mortar with a hammer and chisle late into the night…. Below: The best tool rental EVER from Home Depot that saved our marriage the next day.  This thing got the job done!You know you’ve been working too long when your husband starts to look like he does this for a living….Toby would like this to stop now. ANNNND – they’re done!!!  (well, the molding still needs to be put back in and a few cracks need some attention, but it’s pretty much there – and they are beautiful!) The difference between my happiness levels and Toby’s is evident … it might take our dog a little getting used to, cause for now she just sits on the carpet stairs and pouts.


Well, hello.  It’s been some time hasn’t it?  I am really  not that great at updating this blog… and well… let’s be honest, I thought I might be taking a few more photos of a certain little one by now and posting updates for my family to see.  But, here we are, 16 months into the waiting game.  The time frame has changed again and we’re now expecting to be waiting up to 24 months (that’s 8 months from now) for a phone call.  It could get even longer this summer once our agency gets a better pulse on everything that’s been happening in Ethiopia.  Just to answer questions up front, the program is not closing down, Ethiopia still has a heart for adoption and we are sticking with it until God leads us elsewhere.  We’ve started a second adoption process as well to make the time gap a little quicker once the first is finalized.   Sorry to be short about our update, it’s just that there’s not much more to say – unless you want to come over to my house and have some coffee and talk through all the things that God is working on in our hearts lately.  Trust, thankfulness, peace, the refining process that through suffering and pain brings such joy and understanding of our loving God.

Being a family of two for 7 years now has brought me a keen sense of awareness over our lack of photos…. of the two of us.  We have none.  OK, some, but most of them were taken by me holding the camera outstretched and pointed back at our faces in a vain attempt to get both of us in the same shot, eyes open, no weird husband faces.  (weird husband face = the one where he looks like he’d rather die than be photographed at that very moment)  You know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, so no photos.  Last december I took a few photos for a very talented friend of mine (ahem, Ashely of and she was kind enough to return the favor by traipsing through a riverbed with Eddie and I.  I did not envy her trying to photograph me in all my awkwardness, because I pretty much hate being photographed, but, she gave us these in the end … and I think it was worth it : )  Thanks Ashley for giving us the best photos we’ve ever had!   We are forever grateful….

So aside from the news up top, we are doing great, loving life, our neighborhood, our church and each other : ) There are a lot of things to be thankful for!


Oh, and  this is what happens when you bring Ed on a photo shoot with a spiderman mask.  (also, I think he would not have felt this montage to be complete without this photo … )


“No man had ever longed for a son more than Abraham.  he had given up everything else to wait for this.  When his son came, he felt, then his community would finally see he hadn’t been a fool to give up everything to trust God’s word.  Then he would finally have an heir, a son in his own likeness… he had waited and sacrificed and finally his wife had a baby and it was a boy!
But the question now was – had he been waiting and sacrificing for God, or for the boy?  Was God just a means to an end?  To whom was Abraham ultimately giving his heart?  Did Abraham have the peace, humility, boldness, and unmovable poise that comes to those who trust in God rather than in circumstances, public opinion, or their own competence?  Had he learned to trust God alone, to love God for himself, not just for what he could get out of God?  No, not yet.” [Counterfeit God's - Timothy Keller]
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The story of Abraham and Issac has been on re-play in the background track of our lives for the past few months.  It seems to just pop up everywhere – and with so many new ways to look at this story of near child sacrifice.  Such a dramatic and beautiful story!  Two things that have been standing out to me that I just seemed to overlook before.  The first is how long Abraham and Sarah waited for the promised child – 25 years.  This was a promise from God – and He pushed them to the very edge of belief – to the very edge of possibility (they were 100 years OLD)!  I can’t imagine the build up to a promise like this.  I used to just think that Sarah and Abraham were just laughing at God for saying they would have a child at such an old age.  I never stopped to think about the painful years they spent waiting and WAITING for this child to come until all reason would point them in the direction of disbelief that this promise would be fulfilled.  And yet God came through – when it was time.

The second is the story of Abraham AND Issac.  What was Abraham like after this child came?  Was he ready to give up what he had spent so long thinking was God’s purpose for his life?  Was Abraham ultimately more concerned with what this child would bring him, or was he more concerned with God’s purpose no matter what it seemed to entail for Abraham?  God promised Abraham a child – and through this child many nations – was it too much to ask that Abraham trust this very God to do what was best in His timing and His way?  Abraham needed one final test of his allegiance.  Did he trust in what was right before his eyes, or did he trust in God alone.

It’s a painful set-up the way I see it.  The questions running through my head when I put myself in Abraham’s shoes sound something like this: ‘God, why would you go through all the trouble of promising me a child if were going to ask me to give him away the second I was blessed with him?  Can’t you see my confusion here – this is too much for me!  How do I trust in your promise to give me a son – and your command to give him up at the same time?”

Abraham’s final answer: ‘God will provide’

I don’t know that there is anyone that has walked on this earth that understands that more than Abraham.  He put everything he ever wanted on the line for God’s purpose – and he was given everything in return.  Abraham truly knows the peace that comes from trust in God alone.

….. “To whom was Abraham ultimately giving his heart?  Did Abraham have the peace, humility, boldness, and unmovable poise that comes to those who trust in God rather than in circumstances, public opinion, or their own competence?  Had he learned to trust God alone, to love God for himself, not just for what he could get out of God?” ……

I find these questions very convicting in my own life as Ed and I continue to wait on God’s timing in our adoption.  Things have slowed down quite a bit in Ethiopia.  Just to give you a bit of perspective, here’s the quick breakdown (“wait time” = from the submission of our paperwork to the time of referral):

August  of 2010 – wait time: 4-9 months

We’ve been waiting for 10 months….

October 2011 – wait time: 11-18 months

when we first started our adoption the total process was taking the average family 9-12 months.  Most families were adopting within a year.  I know some of you have probably heard about things slowing down for Ethiopian adoptions – the short of it is that they are understaffed and are fine tuning their process at the same time.  Paperwork for both children and families is taking A LOT longer to process.  Even though the wait time is technically in the range of 11-18 months (and we’re at month 10) we have had to mentally set our minds towards next summer for our phone call.  When we first heard this news we thought we were within a month or two of the getting a call – needless to say – we were a bit crushed.  But God has been good.

I’ve been learning that we didn’t start this process in order to make us a family of 3 as quickly as possible.  We didn’t start this process because we would only be complete when we became a family.  We started this process because God lead us through a number of hard decisions into an international adoption.  In fact, I have never been a part of a decision that was more God-lead than this one.  I know that even if we never receive a child that God has Eddie and I in His hands and that He knows what we need far beyond what we do.  I know that God is good and that I can trust in him.  I know that God will, has and continues to – provide.  How do I really know this?  Because he’s asked me time and time again to give things up to Him – and everytime I surrender I see God’s love and experience His perfect peace.  I am so grateful for this refining process – for this perspective – because I know that this time of waiting, trusting, surrendering – actually never ends.

This life isn’t about getting everything we’ve ever wanted – it’s about trusting our God to provide everything we will ever need, and more.  It’s about finding our peace in God alone.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26


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On another note, Eddie and I took a road trip this September up to Portland.  We went camping and ate some good food and swam in a couple of lakes : )  I didn’t take very many photos, but here are a few!  And, if Ed hasn’t talked to you personally about the trip already – you may want to take a look at the videos at the bottom!!!



A D O P T I O N   C A L E N D A R