Waiting for our baby girl

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Monday, November 02, 2009

6 Months of Waiting

It’s been awhile since I relayed any adoption news. The adoption is on our hearts and minds quite often but as many other things in life, it is not demanding our immediate attention so it gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile of things that need attention. For awhile I felt like it was not going to happen. It felt surreal, like seeing our daughter’s face was so far off, but lately it seems closer. Maybe it is the realization that she most likely is born, that she is out there somewhere across the ocean. That maybe she is loved and cared for by her family or maybe she is alone and afraid. My momma’s heart aches for her whenever she comes to mind. My arms are so eager to hold her. We pray daily that God would strengthen her heart until we can come for her, that she has arms to hold her and love her, and that she has enough food. In the last few months, we have crept up into the unofficial waiting list of families to number 5, where we currently stand. We are number 4 for an infant girl. This could mean so many things. It could mean our anticipated 9-11 month wait will end sooner than that. Or it could mean things will move slowly from here on out. We are almost 6 months since our dossier was sent to Ethiopia. We are all eager to see her face. Emma is excited to meet her little sister though sometimes I wonder if she thinks she is an imaginary friend. We have talked about Emma sharing her little baby car seat with her sister, and the clothes she has outgrown. But I realized after we had this conversation that maybe she thinks her little sister is kind of like Jesus. Someone that is there but she cannot see. We had this conversation a few months ago after nighttime prayers:





Emma: Jesus is going to ride in my car seat with me.





Me: Well, yes, Jesus is with us everywhere, all the time. So He is with us when we are in the car.





Emma (after thinking a bit): Jesus is really little.





Me: Actually, Jesus is SO big, He made the mountains. He made Daddy and Mama. He made you!





Emma (thinks about that for awhile): Jesus is going to have His own car seat. A big car seat.





Me: Because He’s so big?





Emma: Yeah. He’ll have a REALLY big car seat.





This conversation revealed to me that 1) Emma thinks her sister is like Jesus, someone she knows about but cannot see and 2) the concept of Jesus being with us in the car without a car seat seems very unsafe. I loved it. And I love that girl. And I love how she is slowly beginning to learn of Him.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Karaus

I apologize that I have been so bad at keeping up with the blog lately. It’s not that nothing has been going on worth reporting on, it’s that there has been so much happening in our lives on every level that when I finally get my sweet girl asleep at night, the last thing on my mind is the blog. I want to read, or knit, or watch Alias Season 1. Thank you all who faithfully check in from time to time. I won’t share everything that has been happening, though another day I will, but I want to share an amazing gift we had at the last of last month. Most know, Brendan and I met in Kenya in 2001. During the 7 week trip, we and other college students were split into groups of two and three and sent all over Kenya. Brendan was sent to Mathare Valley Slum to teach and work at a church in the slum. He lived and served along with a couple named Pastor and Mama Karau. They became his heroes that summer. Since that time, our dear friends the Karaus, have started an orphanage called Sanctuary of Hope. They have taken 21 children out of the slums and moved them into two different homes where they parent them, teach them, love them, and give them a second chance in a world that dealt them a cruel hand. Imagine having 21 children! To speak of the beauty and redemption that we have seen through the Karaus would be speaking of the life of Jesus lived out in very real ways. We have been blessed to know them. And we were blessed to have them come and stay in our home last month. They spoke at our church and at InterVarsity about what they are doing in Nairobi. It was such a blessing to us to share life with them for five days. It was a reminder of what really matters, of why we are adopting a child from Africa, of who Jesus is and who He calls us to be. I encourage you to check out the most recent YouTube Video about Sanctuary of Hope (and shameless plug- the song is written and sung by Brendan).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGNFDV9vKME

Here are some pictures from their visit:









We love you Karaus and are so thankful for all you do and who you are!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Five Years Today


Five years ago today, Brendan and I said “I do” in front of 150 of our close friends and family. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years! It’s hard to believe it’s been only five years. But these past five years of my life have been the most wonderful so far- in beautiful, fullness of life ways, in hard, stretching ways. But I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else. My husband has taught me so much about loving Jesus, about seeing the beauty in almost anything, about hopeful optimism, about sacrifice, about hard work, about love, about the healing of the soul, about parenthood, about laughter, and the list goes on. Its funny how after a few years, the faults become clearer- as though they were hazy in the beginning- But as our faults rise to the surface, it seems our love grows (by the mercy of our King), expanding even into those places. And we love better, and we love others better. I love you my husband. There is no one else I’d rather spend my life with. You are the best part of me and I am so thankful for you. Happy Anniversary.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Happenings

You know it's hot when your husband goes to Walmart at 10 p.m. to buy an air conditioner. And comes home with the lastone in the store. You know it's hot when your daughter has heat rash all over her back and asks to run around naked. You know it's hot when you check the temp at 7 at night and it's 99 degrees. Yep, it's hot. Oh well. At least our tomato plants love it.
This post is long overdue.

I've had many intentions in the last two months to update, but it hasn't happened. So much of our life in the blog world revolves around the adoption, and frankly, we have no new news. We are just waiting. We have been DTE for two and a half months and have at least 6 to 9 to go til referral. From our Yahoo Group, it looks like we stand around #22ish in line for a referral. But that doesn't include any mystery families that have not joined the group, or the fact that referrals do not always happen in order, but based on the age range, gender, whether requesting siblings,and other factors. The wait for female infants is currently the longest wait. But we wait! And trust God for His timing in bringing our daughter to us.

We just returned from two weeks in Virginia. We spent time with family and friends and enjoyed a much needed week in Sandbridge, VA. I'm posting a bunch of pictures from the trip. It was a good time for some soul searching, playing, listening to God's direction, dates, and just plain relaxing.

Emma with her G-Pa
My brother Nate and his girlfriend, Ashley- aren't they cute?

Emma posing with the flowers she just happened to be color-coordinated with Mimi and Emma
Off on a journey




Emma's "boosie" (booster) seat


And another one


Emma with her Great Grandpa
Emma and Great Grandma (Nana)

Ashley gave her this lollipop, which she still hasn't finished
The whole beach clan- minus Dad who was taking the picture and Rachel who is in India

Emma with her other Great Grandma
(isn't she a lucky kid to have so many grandparents and great grandparents around?)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Day in the Studio

Tiffany, an Intervarsity student and friend, invited us to the photography studio on campus recently to take some pictures of Emma. We thought we'd share a few of the great pictures she took!





Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's Off

Nine months of paperwork and approximately $13,000 later, we have sent our COMPLETED dossier off to America World. Once they have reviewed and approved it, it will be sent to Ethiopia and we will be assigned a waiting number. We are almost in shock that there is nothing left to do...now we wait. But it feels so good! We pray that God is just covering our daughter (who is probably conceived at this point) and her birth family in Ethiopia. We pray for His mercy toward them, that they know Him, that He will be so present with them and with her through this season of suffering that will bring our daughter to us- and that He will bring her to us quickly!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

USCIS Approval!

Our door bell rang at 11:30 Am this morning. I hesitated to answer it, as I was just about to put Emma down for a nap, but decided to go for it. It was our mail man. He had a huge package and a stack of mail. We normally don't see him because we have a post office box at the end of the street, but the package wouldn't fit in there. The package was for Brendan, so I tossed it aside, and immediately began rifling through the pile of mail, like I do every day for the past two weeks. And there was THE LETTER...our USCIS I-171H form that clears us to adopt internationally. Two hours later, we the we had been to the bank to have our dossier cover letter notarized, and to UPS, where we had shipped off the dossier to the MT secretary of state to be authenticated (they check to see that all notaries are legitimate. We have probably 23 different pages that were notarized during the process). They will hopefully overnight that back to us early next week, and then we'll send our completed dossier to America World in Virginia. If all goes well, our dossier will be on its way to Ethiopia in the next two weeks. Praise God!

The neat thing about all this is that yesterday, we asked several friends to pray for this form to come. I woke up this morning with a sense of peace that today was the day. When the form came and I called Brendan, he was, at that very moment, praying with a student for this particular form to come. Pretty cool. Guess Emma will have a little sister after all!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Emma announced to Brendan and I this last week that her name was “Gobbie.” She even answered to Gobbie when I would ask her something. I’m not sure where she got this strange idea, but we got a kick out of it! Also this past week, when I was putting Emma to sleep, we had an interesting conversation. We were laying in her bed, snuggling, and she sleepily said to me, “Mama, I was proud of you.” This sparked my interest so I asked her, “When were you proud of me sweetheart?” Her answer? “When I was born.” Now if that is not what every mom who has gone through childbirth wants their children to tell them, I don’t know what is! I’ll hold onto that memory for sure! We love our little gal, she is such a joy to be around (most of the time!) and it is so fun to see she begin to express all these thoughts she is having.

On the adoption front, we were successfully fingerprinted last Monday. Did you know they don’t use ink anymore? They have a machine that you stick you fingers onto glass and then they digitally take a print. Who knew? I thought I’d take some fun inky finger photos but no luck there. We did have a great family day driving to Helena, visiting the park, seeing the cathedral there, and having lunch. Now I’ve been anxiously checking the mailbox waiting for that coveted I-171H form to come! It could be weeks, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

Last weekend Emma and I (Brendan was out of town) had the privilege of joining the local group of families that have adopted from Ethiopia for their bi-annual get together. It was so wonderful to be with other people who had gone through this process ahead of us and to see these beautiful children. They are SO beautiful! It made my heart ache to hold our little girl. All I can say was they just seemed to be thriving as a part of families. God truly puts the orphans in homes! I am so thankful that there is a group of people who live here! Five of the families were actually from Missoula. We hope to be getting to know them more!


Enjoy some pics of the last few weeks! Have a great weekend.


Easter Sunday




One of the lastest favorite things to do, paint!



Our trip to the river on a sort of warm day








Apparently, Emma was feeling tired!



The musician training continues


Peanut butter balls











Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good news!

I received a phone call this morning from the USCIS office in Helena, Mt. They called to schedule our fingerprinting appointments. We scheduled them for next Monday! I saw our social worker today and mentioned we had heard from them and her comment was, "Already? That's quick!" Thank you Jesus! We have to have our fingerprints taken in order to receive the approved I-171 form. So this is our last step before getting approval from the government to adopt. We have all of our paperwork sitting in a file box, organized, ready to go! This has been a long haul but we're getting there. Our agency gave out over 20 referrals last month, and gave out four more in the last two days. I love seeing these children matched with families and I am so thankful that it will, someday soon, be our turn. Yay for a day of good news!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

USCIS

Yay! Good news on the adoption front today. Our social worker contacted me yesterday to let me know that America World (our agency) had approved our homestudy write up. The magic line in the homestudy "Brendan and Katie Jamieson are approved to adopt one female child from Ethiopia, from 0-18 months old" is what we've been waiting for! The homestudy was done by the local Catholic Social Services office. It's been a long road folks- and we have a lot longer one ahead. We had the hold up with our paperwork going to the wrong office and not being forwarded on to the right office back in December. We were about a month behind where we hoped to be at that point and almost four long months later, here we are. To think that we really began this process last May, is crazy. It was last May that God really began to speak to us that this was the time for adoption in our family. We have known since we got married that we really wanted to adopt a child from Africa, but last May God confirmed that calling and this timing! To think it will be another year is hard, but we are so thankful to have jumped through this loophole.

At this point, the homestudy has been sent into USCIS today. We are waiting for a fingerprinting appointment and then the I-171 form that clears us to classify an orphan as our immediate relative. The timeline on their website says the wait can be 3 months for this form which we need to have to submit our paperwork to Ethiopia. It's been known to be less in other cases, but not normal. If you feel led, please pray for us, that this government office would have favor on us- our application has been sitting in their office for 4 months now- and that by God's mercy, we would move more rapidly through this process. We know that in all this God has the perfect child at the perfect time for us, but honestly, we are so ready to hold her in our arms and be her family.

Thanks for the encouragement and the prayers. We'll keep you updated as we know more!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

We love you sista!


My sweet sister Rachel is leaving this afternoon to fly to England for a week of training and then on to India. She will be living there for six months working in a home for women and children who have been diagnosed with AIDS. I am so proud of my sister. God has gifted her in such beautiful ways. She is a woman of mercy and compassion (not to mention healing as she is a nurse!) I know that she will be a blessing to those who come in contact her. I pray that she will be the arms and feet of Christ as she goes to serve these women and children. We love you Rachel, way to go!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pictures!

Here's a few of the promised picture of the past month!
Our sweet girl turns 2!!

Opening a few presents

Emma's bowling birthday party!


Emma and her Francie


Opening a present

Before the cake....


After the cake!


video

Learning to play the mandolin with Daddy


Girls night at home


In the pool in Kaua'i with Grandpa


She loved that pool!
(We spent a good amount of every day in the pool, the ocean
was a little too intimidating)


Dressed up for dinner out


With Gran on the beach


Katie and Brendan have a day off to sit on the beach, swim, and have space to
catch up- Thanks Bruce and Ann!


That's all for now...I'll have a homestudy update soon (we're almost finished and it's going great!)

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