End Reflection

End Reflection

Our time in Tanzania is coming to an end and it’s hard to believe. The theme of this experience as been that nothing goes as planned. It’s painful, but it’s ok because we trust it has gone as God planned and someday we will look back on this season and understand. But, for now we are deep in this season and continue to feel the weight and grief this season holds, and man is it heavy.

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First Day of School

First Day of School

I never imagined his first day of school would be in Tanzania instead of Colorado where we live. I never imagined we’d be dropping him off and walking away from an adoption that we worked three years for. There is purpose in all things, and although this was one of the hardest days it was necessary and so important in the process of reuniting a family.

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We Have Arrived

We've made it to Africa! I don't think either of us really knew what to expect going into this transition. It has been exciting, exhausting, adventurous, uncomfortable and peaceful. So many different waves of emotion.

As our last flight landed we were relieved to be done traveling. The trip here was slightly anxiety filled as we began to feel the weight of this new journey we are embarking on. For me personally, once we got in the car, with our friend that picked us up, a deep peace came over me.

I felt like this is where we are supposed to be right now, and despite all the uncertainty ahead it feels right. Thankfully, even through the hard times, that deep peace has continued daily  for both of us as we have been adjusting to life here. 

Derrick has already mastered driving on the left side of the road and right side of the car. Thanks to the help of local missionaries we now know how to get to a couple different grocery stores and the orphanage.

We've almost unpacked all of our bags and feel like we can finally settle in more. The house we are renting feels like home and we are so thankful for that! We even have a mountain view from our patio which makes Colorado feel not so distant.

The days have been busy driving around getting things we need and spending time at the orphanage with our boys. The days go fast, yet we've had to learn to slow our pace of life so much. With all the bumpy dirt roads and the low clearance of our car it takes a lot of extra time to get around. What would be a 5 minute drive in America is a 15-20 minute drive here. 

In the days to come we plan to continue preparing our home for the boys to stay with us. We will also be traveling to another town to meet our dear friend and his family, in person, that has been teaching us Swahili via video calls for the past several months.

We have been having a harder time adjusting to the time change than we expected so we are also hoping to start sleeping better! Thank you to everyone who has been keeping us in their prayers. We've definitely felt it!

Favor

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Picking up from the last update in November, the Ruling for the Twins did not happen on Thanksgiving Day. We did not get the answer until late February of this year, and the Judge denied our case just as the Judge for our 3 year old did.

We have spent the past couple months figuring out all of our options and just returned from our third trip to Africa. We are planning to take both cases to an appeals court. The appeals court only meets three times per year and the next meeting will be in June.

We are praying that our cases will both get accepted into the June hearing and that they will both get approved. If we cannot get into the June hearing then we will have to wait until the next hearing that will happen sometime in the fall.

The trip that we just took was our best trip yet. We had no court hearings to attend and no set agenda. We made the trip to visit our boys and to meet with our Attorney to gain a better understanding of all our options moving forward.

The Lord graciously burdened our dear friends to make the trip out with us to help gather photo and video footage of the country, orphanage and our family. We are beyond thankful for the company and support they provided.

(If you need a videographer for anything check our her website she’s awesome! Alix Bruson Films)

We were also able to stay and connect with local missionaries this time which has been a huge blessing. Throughout our time there the idea of “God’s Favor” came up multiple times in church services and conversations. God’s Favor isn’t really brought up all that often in American Christianity, and we felt like God allowed us to experience His favor during this trip.

We encountered many open doors and were able to accomplish more than we expected. Towards the end of the trip we were driving to the orphanage with a local woman who was coming to translate for us. She was asking about the birth parents of our boys and what led them to be adopted.

After sharing the story of their family she began to share her own story… She had been sick with cancer for many years and was told she would never be able to have kids. After getting married and miscarrying twice she got pregnant for a third time and pleaded with God that he would allow this pregnancy to be carried to term and let her have a healthy child or she would stop trying.

The Doctors all told her she would miscarry again. 5 months into her pregnancy her membranes ruptured and she was put on bed rest. The Doctor’s advised that she terminate the pregnancy and told her there was no way she would deliver a full term, healthy baby. She refused to terminate her pregnancy and at 10 months delivered a completely healthy (past-due) daughter named Favor.

A couple years later she was pregnant again and experiencing complications. Her previous Doctor refused to work with her because she was so stubborn and determined to have another child no matter how difficult or unlikely they thought it would be.

She said she never experienced more pain and affliction than during her pregnancies but just because it was hard and seemed impossible didn’t mean she should give up. She trusted God and endured so much pain in order to have her daughter and son.

She named her daughter Favor because she believed God’s Favor was upon her during her pregnancy and viewed her daughter has a gift from the Lord. In the days to come we were able to see Favor around the compound we were staying at, and this precious little girl gave us so much hope in the midst of our own journey to one day bring our boys home.

We believe God intended for us to be reminded of his Favor through out this trip and we definitely sensed it.



"Is Anything too Hard for the Lord?"

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“Is Anything too Hard for the Lord?” - Genesis 18:14

A few days ago the ruling for our 3 year old finally took place after being postponed 3 times. The ruling is where the Judge gives the final yes or no to our application to adopt. Unfortunately this Judge denied our application.

Ever since our last trip we have been hoping and praying both Judges would say yes to our case. So as you can imagine this news is devastating.

The Ruling for the Twins case is scheduled to happen on Thanksgiving day. We are praying for a miracle, that the twins Judge will say Yes. If she says yes to the Twins than we can appeal for the 3 year old to stay with his brothers.

When we look back on this journey we are blown away by the testimony we have of God’s Power and Presence. Multiple times we have been affirmed and led to believe these 3 boys are our sons. We remember my dream, that we would adopt 3 children, the youngest being twin brothers, and we remember the 40 day prayer challenge where I asked God to allow us to be matched with our kids by the 40th day, and sure enough we were matched with these 3 boys on the 40th day.

We believe God is in control. We believe God is Mighty and Powerful. We believe God has brought us this far and that He will make a way for us to one day be united as a family. We believe God is Good. But even with believing these things our hearts still ache at this set back.

As we’ve been processing everything and anticipating the outcome of the twins ruling later this week the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac keeps coming to mind. When the Lord told Abraham he and Sarah would have a son they were well advanced in years and clearly past the age of childbearing.

Knowing this, Sarah laughed when she heard the Lord say that because she did not believe it was possible. But the Lord responded by saying “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” As my heart wrestles with fear, doubt and anxiety this quote keeps resurfacing. “Is Anything too hard for Lord?” And I believe without a doubt that nothing is too hard for the Lord.

He gave Sarah a son which was undeniably a miracle and I believe that he will undeniably perform a miracle again in our adoption story. We are praying the miracle will be that the twins Judge says Yes this week, but if the Lord chooses a different path to complete our adoption we believe that too will undeniably be a miracle and further strengthen our testimony of God’s Power and Goodness.

When Abraham and Sarah did have a son, Isaac, God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham took Isaac to the Mountain where the Lord said, and began to build an altar and prepare Isaac as the sacrifice. The Lord then told Abraham not to lay a hand on Isaac because Abraham showed how he feared the Lord by not withholding his only son from him.

The Lord then provided a Ram to be sacrificed instead and promised to bless Abraham for not withholding anything from the Lord. Abraham then called that Mountain “The Lord will Provide”. This story has challenged us to examine any areas of our adoption that we may be withholding from the Lord.

We’ve felt led to fully surrender the timing of our adoption to the Lord… We’ve never had control of how long or short it will take, but we’ve always hoped it would go as quickly as possible. We still hope that, but for the first time we feel fully surrendered to God’s timetable, trusting his timing truly will be what’s best for all of us.

We’ve also felt led to surrender to the idea that these 3 boys belong to the Lord and if the Lord knows it is best for them to stay in Africa than we will be ok with that too despite being heartbroken.

We ask you to join us in praying for a miracle this week. That the Judge for the Twins will say Yes. Please pray for our hearts also as we wait for the answer and as we accept whatever the answer is. We believe Nothing is too hard for the Lord and we entrust our adoption journey to Him.

Let the Travels Begin

We made our first trip to Africa expecting to meet all three of our boys and to have both court hearings happen. During this trip, neither court hearing happened and we only got to meet our 3 year old son.

Having spent time in Africa a few times before, I knew the Culture and way of doing things was different than here in America but Derrick and I definitely were not prepared for all the obstacles we faced during this trip.

Our first hearing didn’t happen because the Judge had a meeting that day that ran long and she decided not to see any cases afterwards. She wouldn’t reschedule during the next 10 days that we were still going to be there.

The next Judge cancelled our case because a Holiday ended up being on our hearing date and the day after was too busy for her to fit us in. So both hearings got rescheduled in October. We only got to meet the oldest boy because the twins were still in the process of being transferred from a different orphanage in another region. We were told almost everyday we were there that the twins would be moved to the orphanage with their older brother, but the move did not actually happen until the day after we left.

This trip was very eye opening for us. We definitely started out very optimistic not even thinking our hearings wouldn’t happen. Now that we have gotten a taste of the court system we see that getting hearing dates set doesn’t guarantee they will happen.