Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twins... hmm.


Recently I've found myself reading up on something that the adoption world calls artificial twinning. Artificial twins are two children biologically unrelated, brought together by adoption, that are 10 months apart in age or less. Unbeknownst to us, we had fallen into this slightly taboo category. When Gabe and I began this adoption, we had planned to adopt a child 2-3 years older than Stevie. That just seemed like an ideal age to add to our family. However on June 25th, our agency sent a profile of a little boy only 9 months older than Stevie, he was instantly our son.

This change in plans began with us putting all of the 5T clothes I had bought him into a bin, to be used years later, and replacing them with his new tiny 18 month clothes. Next putting "roll bars" on the sides of the huge bed in his room that was unfit for a toddler. Later removing all of the Hot Wheels and Legos from his toy baskets and restocking them with big Tonka trucks and stuffed animals. Now we are left trying to figure out why this practice, adopting a child the same age as your biological child, is so frowned upon.

Stevie's adjustment to having a new member of the family in our home is sure to be a challenge. She doesn't always enjoy having visitors in the house, much less a permanent fixture. Her desire to "doe to Afrita and dit her bruder" changes everyday. I'm sure we would be facing similar hurdles if we were bringing home a new born baby that was biologically ours. We obviously have no idea what to expect from Silas. Who knows what he will think of any of us or the life we are going to put him in?

One way or another, on February 13th we will meet our little man for the first time and on the 15th he will officially become our son. We are so excited to finally have an definite timeline! We can't wait to all be together and figure this whole family thing out. We truly believe that love will conquer and that the Lord has not called us to the fire to simply withdraw His hand. He will equip us for this.

We want you all to know what kind of process we may be about to face because we hope that you will continue to support us. We may have many weeks that we don't need to leave our home with Silas, however we will welcome visitors. We may not be able to leave him with anyone else for months, which means we may miss weddings, parties, church, and other important events. Please don't be let that be a sign of our love for you. All of this to say, we may not face any of the afore mentioned issues. Silas may adjust and attach well, Stevie may welcome her new brother with open arms, and our biggest issue, may continue to be picking up our toys when we're done playing with them.

For now we are keeping ourselves busy with travel plans and daydreaming about having our mismatched twins on the same side of the world.



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Love Is Patient

The month of November marks the fourth month that we have been waiting for a court date. Waiting on pins and needles, I might add. Our agency had told us when we "filed for our court date" at the beginning of July that we would probably hear something in about six weeks. To our dismay, we did not.

This week began with my obsessive search on the internet, trying to find something out about the Ethiopian court system. What I found, was that several families that filed for their court date in August, September, and even October were already getting their court dates and some of them already home with their child. What?!?! I immediately emailed our agency, Hope Adoption Agency (in case you were wondering), and asked when exactly the date was that we had filed. After a couple of hours, and right before Hope closed for the day, I got an email that simply said "It doesn't look like we have filed for your court date." So just like any other normal mother would do (back me up here ladies) I called them exactly 18 times. Finally, about 24 very long hours later, I spoke with the director. He explained to me that our papers have been in Ethiopia for four months, missing one signature (from someone IN ETHIOPIA), and they have neglected to get them filed. He probably didn't put it quite that dramatically, but that's how I understood it.

Although anger was at the top of our emotions, we were able to suppress that feeling long enough to figure out what to do now. Hope is working very hard to get these papers signed and filed within the week. They believe that we will get a court date between 4 and 6 weeks from then. We aren't going to bet on that. But we will try to be patient. Love is patient.

Here is what we know. We know that the Lord our God has not neglected us. He hasn't forgotten us. This "mishap" was not out of His control. We can rest in that. In my last blog, I think I said something about not being able to complain about His timing. I still can't.

If you pray for us, please pray that our actions would be Christ-like. If you pray for Silas, here is a verse from Psalms that says it all...

But let Silas, who takes refuge in You, be glad; let him ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over him, that he would love Your Name and rejoice in You.



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting...




For any of you out there wondering, we're still waiting. Anxiously waiting on a phone call from the glorious 314 area code, saying that we can head to Ethiopia to meet our son. Yesterday I missed a phone call from this very area code. I called it back with haste, only to find out that it was a sales call. I think I'm normally pretty nice to sales people on the phone, it's not their fault that they have such a crummy job. These sales people however, called on the wrong day, from the wrong number. Disappointment, doesn't scratch the surface.

We are asked daily, several times... When are you going? How much longer? Have you heard anything yet?

Nope.

Don't get me wrong we are not discouraged! We knew, definitively, that this would be a long process. One with many unexpected expenses and delays. Now that we are down to the end of this journey we are feeling excited, anxious, and overwhelmingly joyful. Not weary. Although the thought of our son being in an orphanage is sad, we know that he is in the hands of his creator. We have asked the Lord to orchestrate this process so we can't complain about His timing.

Adoption is beautiful. Not just the end product of adoption, but the whole journey. We are so thankful for how close this is bringing our family to each other, and the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers. We know that you have been intervening on our behalf. He has heard the prayers of His people and He has been faithful. Please continue to pray for our sweet Silas. We don't get many updates on his health but we know that it is an issue. Also ask that the Lord would receive much glory through this adoption.

"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." -Romans 8:25

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Birthday Girl



I guess it's time for a little update. There's nothing really too exciting to share. The courts in Ethiopia are officially closed. We hope to be one of the first adoptive families to travel there when they open back up in September. When in September they will open, is the big question. We are ready though! His room is ready. We have travel plans on standby. We could be there tomorrow if they needed us!

Our agency has sent us a list of things that the orphanage is in need of right now. We are trying to collect as much of those things as possible before we leave. Our airline is letting us take as many bags as we would like, without extra charge, because this trip is for humanitarian aid. The list includes hand sanitizer, diapers, antibiotic cream, vitamins, antifungal cream, baby powder, toothbrushes, toothpaste & diaper rash cream. I can't even imagine my baby being in need of any of these simple things. So, if you are at the store and have not yet exceeded your shopping budget, grab one or two of these and let us take them to the orphanage for you. We would be so thankful.

Meanwhile, our little Stevie turns 2 today! She had a great party on Saturday with our close friends and family to celebrate. Our sweet little baby is growing up. We are changing her crib into a toddler bed this week. She goes to the potty... sometimes. She speaks in phrases. It's just too fast! She may be two but she is far from terrible. Happy Birthday Stevie!!













Monday, June 28, 2010

Silas G. Rosser

Sooooo, Gabe and I have our official referral for our precious little boy!! On Friday I spoke with Laurie from our agency at about lunch time and she said that she was about to send me our referral! I called and told Gabe, and he of course, made me wait to look at the e-mail until I got home so that we could see it together. So six very long hours later, we got to see our sweet little man. He is perfect. He isn't the 5 year old that we had expected. Not at all. He is a teeny tiny 2 1/2 year old! And he is most definitely a Silas. We couldn't be happier!

Other good news is that the courts in Ethiopia are not closing for quite as long this year. This means that he should be home sooner than expected!

We can't wait to show you all his picture and tell you his whole name once we have passed court in a few weeks!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hurry Up & Wait


So if you are still reading this blog, you are officially a loyal follower, because I suck at this. I haven't posted an update in months, mostly because this adoption process is kinda boring. Let me catch you up to speed.

Our home study went really well. We loved our home study agency, Lifeline. Our social worker, Claire, was and continues to be amazing! She is adopting a little boy right now as well, so this process is very personal for her. I thank the Lord everyday that he gave us someone that cares about this adoption almost as much as we do. We hope that Claire will be a huge part of our lives for a long time!

We are so grateful to all of our friends who wrote such wonderful references for us. These references required so much time and thought. Your sweet words are playing such a huge roll in helping us bring our little boy home.

We are currently waiting on our official referral. What this means is although we are pursuing a specific child, we can't find out any information on him until Ethiopia officially refers him to us. Then we will be able to know his Ethiopian name, see his picture, and find out any info on him that is available (medical, family history, etc.) Once they have given this to us, we will chose to accept him and then a court date will be set. We feel like we will not receive a court date until the beginning of October because the courts there close for almost two months (Aug. & Sept.) . At this point we will travel to Ethiopia, meet our son, appear in court, and possibly come back home without him. If we can not bring him home with us then we will return in about 6 weeks to pick him up.

Well... now you know everything I know.

We have been hard at work preparing our home for him. Here are some pictures...






We have lost our certainty about our name choice. Although Silas is still a front runner, we are entertaining the idea of another name. It's hard to decide on a name until we see his face. I would love to hear some other name ideas if you have any.

We would also covet your prayers. The Lord has shown great favor on us in this process. We are blessed beyond measure.

Great is His faithfulness.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fingerprints, "Issues" & Coffee


So I just started this blog and I'm already bad at it! It's been over a month since our last post so I've got some catching up to do.

Well, Gabe and I are in the process of our home study and getting our dossier together. Our home study consists of interviews, fingerprints, criminal background checks, physicals, home visits and so much more. Our dossier (daw-see-ey) is a collection of papers that include birth certificates, references, marriage and drivers licenses, bank statements, and of corse, our home study report. I'm sure I left out a billion things, but I'll spare you the details. Once our dossier is complete we will send it to D.C. for approval and also to Ethiopia!!

So far I think we are both enjoying this process. It's been a great excuse to do some deep cleaning, not to mention that all of this busy work is keeping our minds off of the wait. We are so thankful for the blessings that the Lord continues to pour out on us!! We have recently found out that Ethiopia has changed a few laws about the adoption process that would make this whole thing MUCH more difficult, although we later found out that we should be exempt from this change. Grandfathered in so to speak. Thank you Jesus!! We also were very pleasantly surprised by our end of the year taxes. Less taxes=more $$ for Silas!! Thank you IRS & Jesus!! Our biggest blessing has been the encouraging words and prayers of our friends & family. They have not gone unnoticed! The Lord has used you in this process to keep our endurance up. Thank you!

We have also been surprised by the not so positive comments that of course came from people that don't know us or the situation very well. Things like "well I sure hope you are thinking about how this will effect Stevie" or "you know adopting an older child means you might have to deal with more issues". Well thanks so much, we haven't thought of these things at all. Of course we have thought about how this will effect Stevie. We've thought about how this will effect her, us, Silas, our dogs, we have probably even thought about how this will effect you. And as far as "issues" go, we were called to love people as Christ loves us, and I am so thankful that he did not reject me because of my issues. Alright enough of my ranting, just thought you all might find that amusing.

Our church family is hosting a silent auction to benefit our adoption! It will be a blast! There will be art, jewelry, spa & vacation packages to bid on!! So, if you are reading this, you are invited. It will be at Elevation on Saturday, April 10th starting at 7pm. Ethiopian coffee and desserts will be served.

We hope to see you there!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

Today is Gabe's 24th birthday! We celebrated by eating lunch with the fam yesterday and we will be eating dinner with good friends tonight! Stevie and I got daddy some new clothes for his birthday and Eric Clapton tickets for this weekend. But Silas (Silas is what we are calling the little boy we are adopting) obviously didn't forget daddy's birthday either, because last week Gabe got a package in the mail from him. It was a t-shirt with amharic (the Ethiopian national language) writing on it that means "dad"! Mom may have helped a little.

I am feeling especially grateful today and feel the need to share it with you. The Lord has placed a lot of wonderful friends in our lives, they are blessings to us in so many ways. Yesterday, some of our closest friends, the Schluchters, gave us a wonderful gift. Misty had made cards, each with a different prayer from scripture on them. She added our children's names in each of the verses. She explained to me that so many times when praying for her own children, that her words fail her. I completely relate to this feeling. So many times when I am praying for Stevie I feel like my prayers are so shallow or selfish. Like I'm not asking for the Lords will for her life but my own. And with Silas, I just don't know what I should be asking for. Protection, health, patience, peace, direction, comfort, healing? How wonderful it is, to have written in black and white, a prayer from the word of God. Out of all of the verses she gave me I think this one may be my favorite...

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you, Stevie and Silas, and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God."
Colossians 1:9&10







Thursday, February 4, 2010

So, it's time.

When Sara Beth and I first began dating, one of the first things I noticed about her was her beauty. The second thing I noticed was her intelligence. The third, her passion for one day being an adoptive mother and allowing God to use her as a tool to fight poverty and give kids without a chance, a chance. Ok, so maybe it wasn't in that exact order. When you first begin dating someone, it's not typical to come right out and start talking about kids and your big family plans. But I gathered this information by choice and really began to see that she meant exactly what she said.

There wasn't really a particular moment that I can recall where a lightbulb went off and I knew that she was meant for the job. I could just tell by the way she cared for kids around us and her attitude towards the unfortunate. Not one of extreme pity, or squeals regarding cuteness of afro-puffs, but a genuine desire to commit to a life less fortunate than hers for the gain of the kingdom, and because God said so. I know that sounds uber-Christianese, but it's really the only way I can get the point across that she has had this desire for quite some time.

Being a guy with slight commitment issues, it honestly took me some time to really fall in love with the idea. For the longest time, I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that God would call me to be a father to the fatherless. I have only known being a father to my own, and I have only learned that in the past year and a half. How could I ever love someone as much as my own child? A lot of questions have been going through my mind since we got married. I have put a lot of thought into this process and the possible outcomes, positive and negative (mostly negative). After we began to talk openly about it to each other, Sara Beth and I noticed that I was still not where she was in the process. It was going to take time and I was going to need answers.

So time came and went. We have experienced a lot through raising our own and through committing to helping others in need through Compassion International. God has really shown me that love doesn't have a blood-line boundary. Jesus didn't say "Love one another if you're related to them" or "Love your child more than your neighbor". He called us, dared us even, to love others as He has loved us, to "pay it forward" and do the same as he did for us. And for those that do not know the story, He suffered a grueling death, hanging on a tree so that we wouldn't have to suffer death.

So, we've decided it's time. I am so excited about making plans and getting our world ready for a new inhabitant. Adoption can be a long process, but we're using this time to prepare our hearts and our home for the journey that God has for us. While we prepare, we have been getting some questions that we would like to share our answers to below. Please feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts as well.


Why would you adopt when you can have kids of your own?
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you" James 1:27


Why Ethiopia?
There are many children in need of homes and families in the U.S. and we would encourage anyone interested in a domestic adoption to pursue it! Our hearts have been softened to the 3-5 million orphans in Ethiopia. In general, Ethiopia is one of the quickest and easiest countries to adopt from, as well as being fair, legal and regulated. An estimated 11% of all children in Ethiopia are orphaned. All statistics aside, we are adopting from Ethiopia, because we believe that is were our son is.


Why not adopt a little baby?
There are so many families that are not able to have children and adoption offers the opportunity for them to have a baby. While we think this is excellent, it is not us. Our hearts break for the 144 million orphans in the world, but specifically for the 90% of them that are over the age of 3.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Love Story


Gabe and I are so excited to start this blog and document our family's growth! Here is a brief history to catch you up...



We were married on May 6, 2007. After dating a year and a half, we exchanged our vows on a beautiful Sunday night, at the Rosser farm.



After only six blissful months of marriage, we found out that we were expecting!


On August 11, 2008, Stevie Marion Rosser (named after my dad and Gabe's grandmother) came into our lives. We could not have been any happier!

The past year and a half have flown by. Stevie is now 18 months old and looks more like her dad every day. She loves playing with our two dogs Cash and Paisley (who she calls Tash and Pase) but they don't always love playing with her.

We are very blessed to live close to all of Stevie's grandparents. They are a huge part of our lives. Gabe works very hard with his graphic design business, sometimes at home and sometimes at the office. I am at home with Stevie on most days but love working as a hair stylist on the weekends. All three of us are very involved with our church family. We are so grateful that Stevie is growing up with such a wonderful group of family and friends, that are loving and encouraging her, and provoking her to righteousness.

What's next in our story? We think it's about time to give Stevie a big brother. That's right not a little brother, a big one.

"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me..." Mark 9:37