Friday, September 30, 2011

One More Stone...

This week we found out that the judge has agreed to go ahead & give us a written decree despite not having our MOWA letter yet. This is very unprecedented - a huge praise! Our agency thinks that this will keep the southern government from having jurisdiction over our kiddos, so therefore, no claims to take them back! One of the families (there are 5 in our same predicament from our agency) received their decree on Tuesday. I was hoping to be able to announce our decree this week too, but we haven't heard anything on our specific case yet. Our agency feels for sure it is coming though - please pray for peace & patience for us & the other families that are waiting daily for new news.

As far as MOWA goes, they have not changed their position to our knowledge. We continue to hope that once they see the judge moving on our behalf, they will follow suit. This seems to be still really complicated, & I don't really understand what all is going on with this part yet. Although, I do know that it has the possibility of holding us up for a long time. Please, please pray against this!! Another one of the families involved said they are being bold & praying for our little ones to be home by Halloween. ...This is actually the timing Matt & I had thought would be possible when we first left for Addis Ababa on Aug. 2. So, when she said that I thought, why would I not keep asking for that myself?:) Will you join me?? It would take several miracles, but I think He's getting us use to asking for those! ;)

THANK YOU so much!!! Honestly, every single intercession means the world to us.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Latest


Yesterday we found out that the rumors are true, the judge is back in office, although the courts don't officially open until October 12. This is a huge praise! As our agency's email stated, the Lord is moving mountains one stone at a time. Even though we have the judge's verbal consent, our director is going to try to get her to put her consent in writing so that we have a little more clout regarding our custody. Our hope is also that the judge will help convince MOWA to review our cases because regardless of anything the judge does we will have to have their approval before our case can be finalized.

We also found out this week that there is no specific "check list" of names that the SNNPR has of kids that they are looking for. This has helped us to rest a little easier; yet, we are anxious each day to get an email from our agency letting us know our babies are still there.

A friend traveled to pick up her baby & sent us new pictures of the T-man. He is getting so big! I wish so badly I could show them to y'all. He has quite the facial expressions. ;) His curls are coming in, & they think he is going to crawl soon...I really hope I can be there to see that!

I know this post is so rambly; I thoughts are all over the place these days. ;) Will you just continue to pray for the children being affected by this? {We actually have "met" a family from a different agency whose 5 year old referral was taken. They haven't been able to find out any information on where she is or what is to happen to her.} Please continue to pray for our Protector to keep watch over our 5 babies at Hannah's Hope. Lastly, we are praying that the federal judge will be willing & able to help push our cases through. *This last sentence has been bothering me since i wrote it... you see, i do pray this for myself, but then i immediately confess to the Lord that i am selfish. i tell Him that i love this little boy so much that i only want what is best for him even if that does not mean me. it breaks my heart to say that, tears are filling my eyes, but it is the Truth. so, what i want to ask you to do {& i am only speaking for myself, & the the little man i do consider to be my son} is to pray that the Lord's best will be carried out in his precious life. i cannot pretend to know what that may be.

God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave & when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always. Psalms 121:7-8 MSG

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Needing Prayers!

Dear Friends,

On Thursday we were contacted by our agency with some very bad news. We are writing this post to ask that you, your family and friends send a prayer or a good thought (if you're not the praying type) out for our son and all the children from the South whose adoptions have been "on hold" due to the orphanage closures in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia (SNNPR).

Those of us with children from the South (5 total) were contacted by AGCI, our agency, with troubling news. A few days ago, two government officials from the South arrived at Bethzatha Children's Home in Addis Ababa, where our son came from and removed approximately 38 children. According to the officials, these children (one of them an AGCI child, that had not had court yet) are being taken back to Awassa (the capital city in the South), where their birth families will be offered financial assistance (one time payment or lifelong aid???) should they choose to care for the children.

Should they decline, the children will be placed in one of three orphanages in the South, where they will start all over the process of possibly being adopted through whatever agencies work with those three orphanages. There is even a real possibility that they will never be available for adoption again and live out their lives in an orphanage.

At this time, our transitional orphanage director is desperately making the case to anyone with government authority who will listen that children whose families (birth & adoptive) that have already been to court and testified their approval & desire for these children to be adopted must not be removed from our transitional orphanage. We have no guarantee that that won't happen. It is a very real possibility that, because MOWA has not yet issued our approval letters & the courts are closed and unable to issue our decrees, the Southern government officials may return and demand to take our 5 children. We were told that most likely this will happen. We are not sure how they have legal authority to do this, but know that the Southern Region in Ethiopia is like a "state" would be within the United States, they make their own laws in their region.

Because our Father has showed us the power of laying our desires at his feet, it is our hope that prayer can change the hearts that are in power there. We are asking you all to pray like you've never prayed before for our children. Please ask God to place a hedge of protection around them, and should they be taken, that he would somehow shield them from the additional trauma this will bring into their lives. Please pray for our director, Almaz, who is an amazing advocate for all Ethiopian children, as well as the rest of the staff at Hannah's Hope. We have heard rumors that the federal judge who ruled over our case is returning back to work early (the courts are still closed due to rainy season,) so please pray that we will find favor from her & that she will have the power needed to fight this injustice. We have no idea what will happen next, but hope that an army of prayer warriors will join us in asking God to act in defense of these children. ...And that he would give us the strength to bear the pain of unspeakable loss should our worst fears be realized.

MUCH, MUCH appreciation goes out to all of you!! We love our little man more than words can say, & the thought of what may happen to him {& honestly, ANY child caught up in this mess} is devestating.

In love & gratitude,
Matt & Amelia

****as matt & i were just praying, i have on my heart to ask you please do not let this situation taint your opinion on Ethiopia as a whole. we love this country, & we LOVE the Ethiopian people. As with most places in the world, they have a struggling national government without a strong line of power or jusristdiction. So with varying internal opinions on international adoption within regional {like states} & national governments & outside influences to boot, injustices such as this are able to come into play without much of the nation even knowing. With all that is said above, please be sure that the people of this beautiful country are a loving & welcoming people who very much want the best for their children.****