Saturday, September 28, 2013

Good news and a set back

Hello!  Remember how a few weeks ago I was writing to you to tell you we were still short on funds for our final trip?  Quite a bit short, if my memory holds correct.  Well, guess what.  He did it.  God provided all we need for our final trip to travel and pick up Wren!  We are blown.a.way.  So humbled and so grateful.  Thank you, to all of you.  For praying.  For giving.  For praying some more.  What a weight this has lifted from our shoulders!  Thank you all for being part of this story.  We are grateful beyond measure.

If you remember from my last post, we had a pretty sweet plan as to how and when we were going to travel.  We even had the funds and woke up at 4:45 Wednesday morning to check and hope for an email from the US Embassy with the news we had cleared.  The email did not come but a call from our agency did later that afternoon and it was not the news we were hoping for.  The person who was supposed to show up for the final interview Wednesday had missed the appointment.  She is apparently on a religious pilgrimage.  And that's all we know.  Where she is or when she'll be back, a mystery.  How this happened, no idea.  We have about a million and a half questions and zero answers at this point.  We hope to hear more on Monday but that is just a hope.  We feel frustrated and angry and sad and confused.  I have shed many tears and as I was working to process it all and not blame myself for not praying enough, etc., my dear friend asked me the perfect question. 
"What is God saying to you in this?"
This brought on more tears as I hadn't thought about that yet.  I was too busy being angry and blaming myself and thinking God was punishing me for...something!  As I cried and tried to clear my mind to hear the Lord, I remembered He is on our side.  I feel like He didn't want this to happen and He hasn't given up on me or us or this process!  I also felt Him asking me not to waste this.  Not to waste this time but also not to waste this pain/struggle.  Instead of wallowing in my sadness/bitterness/anger/confusion, turn to Him and let Him change me in this.  Let it not be for nothing.  This may sound cliche or trite but to me it was so comforting and for the first time, I accepted it and believed it.  Did the pain and sadness immediately disappear?  No.  Do I feel like God is saying that my feelings aren't real or justified?  No.  I think He is asking me to not get stuck there.  To invite Him into the feelings and situation. 
Even though I didn't really want a scripture thrown at me to try to make everything right, (sorry, speaking truth here), someone posted a verse from Psalm 62 on Facebook.  It was random that this person posted this but it spoke to me and meant something to me.  As I read the whole passage, these verses particularly stuck out to me:
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge. 

 He is our refuge in this confusion and sadness.  And He is good.  I don't know what news we will get next week, if any, but I'm choosing not to waste this setback and invite Jesus in.  We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another step

Hello friends!  We just wanted to update you on some of the progress we have seen in the last few days.  First we want to thank all of you for your support.  We are so humbled and grateful.  Every prayer, penny and question of how we're doing means so much to us.  It is hard for us to humble ourselves but we have realized that when we do, God does his biggest work.  Thank you for being part of that.
Earlier this week, we found out that the final interview needed for Embassy to clear our case is scheduled for September 25th.  Hopefully, we will clear that day or the next and then we are ready to go pick up our girl!  We hope to travel over to Ethiopia October 4th.  Will you please pray with us that everything lines up (air fare routes, costs, work schedules for Peter and his mom who’s coming to watch the boys)?  If all goes well, leaving the 4th puts us in Ethiopia the morning of my birthday and I can't think of a better gift than picking up our daughter and not having to leave her again.  What a sweet day that will be!  

We are also still short on our needed funds.  We are $1500 closer to our goal and we are so grateful!  If you would like to give, here is some information on how to do so:

Three more days to shop!  A friend of mine has generously offered to host a Thirty-One Gifts party and donate 100% of the profits to bringing our Wren girl home!  It is an online party so you can shop from the comfort of your home.  Here is the link to her site:

Once here, click on "parties" and you will see our fundraiser listed there under "Moore".  Here is a link to a pdf catalog as well:

This fundraiser will last for 2 weeks and close September 14th.  Let me know if you have any questions around this. 

If shopping isn't your thing, it is very easy to make a tax deductible donation through our church's website.  In the comments, simply put "Moore adoption" and it will go into our account there.  Disclaimer:  In doing so, you understand that, in accordance with IRS rules and regulations, the use of the gift is subject to the discretion and control of the Journey Church Adoption Fund, notwithstanding any preference that we may express in this form, or on any check.

Basically, if there is money left in our account that we don't need, it will be given to the general fund in the Encompass Orphan Care Ministry.

Thank you, again, for being part of our journey in all this.  We are so thankful.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Moving along

Exciting news today!  We found out that the US Embassy has now started reviewing our case!  Essentially that means we could be traveling in the next couple weeks!  While this is EXTREMELY exciting news, we are still about $5500 short of paying for our next trip to actually pick up Wren and bring her home.  Thankfully we won't have to purchase a plane ticket for Wren but our plane tickets alone will cost around $2000 each.  Then there are guest house fees, driver fees, and food.  We have applied for multiple grants since returning home in July but we have yet to hear back and nothing is guaranteed.  While donating to our adoption account at our church, (directions below) is a great way to financially support us (tax deductible), we also have another fun and creative way you could support us-while getting a head start on your holiday shopping.

A friend of mine has generously offered to host a Thirty-One Gifts party and donate 100% of the profits to bringing our Wren girl home!  It is an online party so you can shop from the comfort of your home.  Here is the link to her site:
Once here, click on "parties" and you will see our fundraiser listed there under "Moore".  Here is a link to a pdf catalog as well:
This fundraiser will last for 2 weeks and close September 14th.  Let me know if you have any questions around this. 

If shopping isn't your thing, it is very easy to make a tax deductible donation through our church's website.  In the comments, simply put "Moore adoption" and it will go into our account there.  Disclaimer:  In doing so, you understand that, in accordance with IRS rules and regulations, the use of the gift is subject to the discretion and control of the Journey Church Adoption Fund, notwithstanding any preference that we may express in this form, or on any check.
Basically, if there is money left in our account that we don't need, it will be given to the general fund in the Encompass Orphan Care Ministry.

Thank you all for your support and prayers throughout this entire process.  We know that God will provide what we need to bring Wren home and we look forward to sharing the stories with you!  Oh, and also for you to meet her!  She's pretty awesome. :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Photo dump

As we've been home from our awesome trip for 2 weeks now, I figure I should update the blog.  Get ready for a lot of pictures and a few words.  Maybe the words will come later but for now, here is a small glimpse of our trip meeting our little bird Wren Hidase Ann.  She's about 18 months and just a punkin.
 This is the first picture taken after we met her.  Lovely, I know.  It was so, just...right, meeting her.  My first thought was, "Yep, that's the right child".  It wasn't a super high or super low feeling, it was just normal.  Which was perfect for me.  I had prayed God would help me feel whatever He wanted me to feel and I believe He did.  We bonded right away and she preferred me to everyone else the whole trip.  Filled my mama heart.
 Pete feeding his daughter a bottle.
 Love that profile.  Yummy.

If you bring toys to your daughter in a 3rd world country, don't bring bowl toys.  Very confusing.
 Sweet giggles
 One of the views from our room at our guest house.  It was a lovely home and my husband quickly charmed the staff and we look forward to seeing them again when we travel back to pick up Miss Wren!  When will that be?  Good question.  We're hoping for sometime in September but as we know in the adoption world, nothing is a guarantee. 
 Pete made some friends across the street through the universal language of soccer.
 She had us convinced she couldn't walk until a specific toy across the room caught her attention.  Not only can she walk, she can run.  She's pretty wobbly but she gets the job done.

 We traveled 280 kilometers south of Addis to Awassa where Hidase/Wren was born and lived until 4 days before we go to Addis.  After we cleared the congestion and traffic of Addis, we saw Africa as I had always imagined.  This picture makes me think of the Lion King.  Cliche, I know. 
 Just a random monkey on the side of the road. 
 Awassa is located on Lake Awassa and is a smaller, higher end city.  Although the lake is lined with resorts, there are still 12 orphanages in the city of roughly 100,000 people.
 Just a random monkey trying to steal some fries.  There was a guy walking around with a sling shot shooing them away.
 We visited the orphanage Wren spent the majority of her life in.  To explain it, here is an email I wrote right after:  "I'm not sure what I was expecting but since the foster home here in Addis is so well stocked, in my ignorance, I thought that was what every orphanage was like. It is not the case. We walked into a room with about 15 babies sitting on a mat on the floor. A few cried and a few smiled when they saw us. It took me a bit to realize that none of them were wearing diapers. Just shirts wrapped around as a diaper. And not very tightly. One baby crawled over to me as he dragged his soiled shirt/diaper. There were about 2 workers for the 15 babies. As our driver explained that we were Hidasse's parents, the workers were thrilled and spoke of how she was a quiet girl just as we have seen. Other than the babies there was a girl about 12? And a boy maybe 7. It was more to process than I can write or explain. We have seen Wren try to lay back as we are feeding her a bottle and now we know why. The orphanage is just as I've been told. Babies in cribs with bottles and that's how they fall asleep. I know it could be worse but I am so sad that she spent nearly a year of her life here. When we have been with her at the foster home she has wanted to go outside a lot. We now know it is because she has never been outside. At the orphanage they don't take the babies outside. We saw her crib and from the number of children compared to the number of beds, it is clear they all share. As ugly as this sounds, I was ready to leave quickly. Watching the little boy watch us drive away was more than I could take. I kept imagining Kale standing there, wanting someone to love him.

As I thought about how it all made God feel I was comforted that He was sad and sorry that this happened to our precious girl. I am thankful she is out and as I think about the enormous responsibility of raising this broken girl, I am comforted by what my friend Stephanie told me before I left. All I have to do right now is love and hug and kiss this baby girl and tuck her in at night.  That doesn't scare me. And I am reminded it isn't my job to heal her or make her whole. Jesus is here for that and I get to witness it.

So as I get ready to go visit her this afternoon I am not anxious or worried as I was this morning.  I get to love her where she's at and trust God to meet us all there."

 Showing some of the staff pictures of Hidase/Wren.

 Our driver Eshetu making Peter laugh.  This was a common occurrence and he is someone we are so excited to see when we travel back. 
 Just a monkey in a park.  We also saw a hippo's eyes come out of the lake while we were at the lake.  I have just been telling people we have seen a hippo and leave out the part it was just his eyes.
 These kids loved having their pictures taken.

 Wren was hesitant to open up to Peter but she knew we wanted her to go to him.  This was a rare occurrence and she made it into a game.  She would get close to him and turn around and walk away.  Tricky little girl.
Gotcha!  Can't wait to go back and scoop this girl up!  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Waiting....and waiting...and waiting some more

When I was in labor with Kale and it came time to push, the nurse, who was just trying to help, I'm sure, told me he was right there and would be out quickly.  So, after one push, I was surprised that he had not popped out.  (This was my first delivery mind you.)  FOUR HOURS and some suction later, we got to meet our cone headed boy.

Right now in this adoption, we need some suction.  Or forceps.  Or a c-section.  An initial court date, that we didn't need to be there for, happened June 6th.  We were told we would hear our court date shortly after, maybe up to 2 weeks after.  And when we heard about our court date, we might need to leave in a hurry.  And then a friend with our same agency got a call Tuesday that she needed to leave Friday.  And we heard of another family getting an even shorter notice.  So, to me, it felt like the nurse saying, "he'll be out in a jiffy".  We expected that call any minute and began to prepare accordingly.  Immunizations, lists, documents notarized, directions for grandmas, more lists.  Having a small heart attack every time the phone rang.  And then a week passed.  And then another week.  And then another.  And here we are in the middle of week 4.  And there are no forceps!  Or pitocin.  There is absolutely nothing I can do but wait.

Why is it taking so long you ask?  We finally got somewhat of an answer today.  First, everything is different in Ethiopia.  I'm told it is a different time system over there that we will be surprised to see when we finally get to visit.  Also, the region our little miss is from is aways away from Addis and can be slow to work with apparently.  They also had some turn around with the MOWCYA director in that region so that slowed things down as well.  That is as well as I can explain it without overwhelming everyone with adoption terms and the like.  In a nutshell-ish, we have been waiting on the edge of our seat to leave, for the last 3 weeks.  It is exhausting.  Mentally and emotionally.  Add to that the fact that we have yet to receive an updated picture of sweet girl, it is mentally confusing!  The questions that flood my mind.  Is she real?  How old is she now?  Can she walk?  Can she crawl?  Can she even sit up?  Has she been sick?  How big is she?  And on and on.  I go between cussing and hitting pillows in frustration to asking the Lord to move and trying to trust Him.  But mostly it is a lot of cussing.  I know the next wait, after we meet her and have to leave her, will be even worse.  We'll have pictures of her, with us in them!  We'll know some of her personality.  We'll know where she is developmentally and what kind of help she needs.  We knew this would be overwhelming and hard when we went into it but I also thought, "Oh, ours won't be like that.  It will be a breeze."  It was for awhile, which I am very grateful for.  Apparently I'm not so great at this handling of the hard stuff.  But, much like the end of a pregnancy, I'm ready to be done with the waiting.  I know the next part will be hard and exhausting and overwhelming but I'm just done with this chunk of the process.  Obviously, it isn't done with me yet...

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Last Friday night I was sitting in a seminar at church when my phone rang.  As I walked out of the room and answered the call, I heard the words we've been waiting for since we started this process last year.

                   It's a girl and she's 12 months old

I fell to my knees and couldn't stop the tears.  It was actually happening.  The call actually came.  God did it and it was perfect.  I picked myself up off the floor and broke every speed limit on my way home to tell Peter.  I knocked on the door and when he answered, I held out my phone with the picture and said "Happy Birthday".  You see a few weeks previous I had started praying for a bit of a miracle.  Well, actually a pretty big miracle.  That we would receive our referral on Pete's birthday and his birthday just happened to be the following day.  Or, as a friend later pointed out, it already was his birthday in Ethiopia.  Oh the beauty and sweetness of this gift overwhelms me.  That He answered my specific prayer and chose to bless us in this way means so much to me.  Not only with our daughter (I can say that now!!!), but also with the answer to my prayer.

Now we wait for a court date in Ethiopia which will take 4-5 months but we'll pray for another miracle for it to happen sooner.  At that time Peter and I will both travel over and meet baby girl (we're still deciding on a name) and appear in court.  Then we'll drag ourselves back to the US and away from that sweet face and wait another 6-8 weeks for an Embassy appointment.  After that we can bring her home.  In the mean time, we wait.  Wait by buying clothes and decorating a room and praying and thinking of a name and staring at her picture 2657 times a day (we can't share her picture until we pass court in Ethiopia) and trying not to snuggle every 12 month old baby I see around town.

Thank you to every single one of you for praying and asking questions and generously giving to our adoption costs.  We are blessed to be surrounded by love and support and now our little girl is surrounded by that too.  Thank you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

He showed UP!

I have been working on this post for over a month now and before anything else changes, I better just get it out there.  I really wanted to document how God has shown up during this adoption process and just give all of you an update.  We started this process in faith that God would open doors as He saw to open or close them.  We went into this trusting God to be in control and holding it in open hands.  Easier said than done.  Many times I have tried to clutch this process and journey tight and do it in my time and control all of it.  Oh, how I have tried to do this my way.  And many times I've thought I was in control and taking care of everything.  Then I discovered the last piece of paper we had been waiting for in the mail had actually been on my desk for 2 weeks.  Boy, was I mad about that.  Why did we have that paper here for 2 weeks longer than necessary?  No clue.  But I was mad.  At myself and really, kind of at God.  Then I heard Him ask me, "Why do you ask me to take control of this and then get mad at me when I do?"  Ah yes, that.  Even when I have little faith, He is still faithful.  I still don't know why that paper sat there for 2 weeks or why our last notary took an extra week to get notarized.  I do know that God knows and for this moment, that's enough for me.

With that said, here are some of the big ways God has shown up for us and I can't wait to tell you more as they continue to happen.  We started this journey, thinking and praying, just over a year ago and here is how we've seen God move...
  •  Right around the time we officially decided to pursue our adoption, God started blessing us through my business.  A year later, He has continually blessed us month after month with just what we need and I honestly cannot wait for the day when I can hand someone a check and say, "Your adoption is covered."
  • As we were looking at agencies, we had it narrowed down to 2 that we liked.  We were working on a few things to get started when the coordinator of our orphan care ministry at our church called and said another agency had come across her radar.  This agency kept a shorter waiting list and had recently just cleared it.  We did some research and were very interested but there was an upfront fee of almost $5000.  As we thought and prayed about how to cover this, we sold Peter's car (which we had been trying to sell for a couple months.)  This gave us nearly exactly what we needed for that upfront fee.  Three days later, we got the biggest tax return we have ever received.  I honestly have no idea why we did but I also do know. :)
  • In June we started our home study and also had a garage sale that people generously donated to.  The day before the garage sale, I was at a park and met a woman who I ended up chatting with for almost 45 minutes.  In that time I told her about our adoption and also later mentioned we were having a garage sale the next day and pointed in the general direction of our house.  The next morning I was bustling about doing garage sale stuff and as I came out of the house, Peter told me my friend Karen had brought me a coffee.  In my head I was thinking, "Who is Karen?"  I was so moved when I saw my friend from the park the day before.  It was such a blessing that she had taken the time to bless me.  She looked around a bit and found about $5 worth of stuff to buy.  She handed over a $100 bill and said, "I don't need any change."  I teared up then and I do now.  I don't know this woman's last name or even the name of the town in Idaho she was visiting from.  I do know that we were blessed more than just monetarily that day.  I know that God loved us through that woman and her generous giving that day and every time we remember it.
  • You know how when you have a garage sale you kind of keep a running total in your head?  Well, during ours, the total in my head was around $400.  When we added up our total at the end of the day, God more than doubled that.  Thank you to the generosity of our friends who donated and those who bought treasures.
  • Later that summer I was talking to my friends about my fears and insecurities about sending a letter to friends and family asking for financial support.  It was going to take me laying down my pride to admit that I couldn't do this on my own.  The whole idea was a big step of faith for me.  Peter brought a new perspective to it though.  He felt we should give our friends and family the opportunity to help and that they would want to help.  Well, God proved to me that they do indeed want to help.  Later that same afternoon, before we had even started the letter, let alone sent it to anyone, our neighbors knocked on our door.  They wanted to know if we were accepting donations for our adoption.  Are you kidding me?  It was just what I needed to know that people do indeed want to help.
  • Because of that letter, we were able to do the following...As we were getting ready to send our dossier about a month ago, we also needed to send a big chunk of change along with it.  We were about $1600 short in our account at our church.  We had $450 in a paypal account from other donations and as we were working out getting a grant from our church, the church secretary called to let me know that a donation had JUST come in the mail for $500.  I had heard about this sort of thing happening to other people but of course thought that wouldn't need to happen for us because I would have it all figured out.  Ahem. 
    We are humbled and so grateful for everyone's support, financially and prayerfully and just kind words.  We are thankful for how God is working through us and if you'd like to be a part of this, there is a link on the right to donate through.  If you'd like to contribute a tax deductible donation, contact me at naomi.rae.8 at gmail dot com and I'll get you the necessary information.  Thank you, so much.