We are the Snyder family and ... we are different

This is the story of our journey to our daughter in Ethiopia. God is preparing our family for her and preparing her heart to come home to her family. We chose the difficult road of trusting and obeying God. It is worth every step!

Friday, May 28, 2010

God is my encourager

For those of you who have been following our blog you have probably noticed the recent trend of me being frustrated, saddened and negative with my posts. Today we found out that the dates don't match for Dustin's physical so it will need redone and we got our police reports notarized down at the police station only to realize once we got home that the notary expires in July, so we will have to wait till next week to get those redone as well. I have been sort of frustrated with the paperwork and my heart has been aching, but today God sent some relief. A couple of my friends asked me to go down to our local friday fest and then out afterwards. I was standing around just talking and noticed this adorable little girl in a stroller who was black being pushed by a woman who was white. I was waiting to see if the father was also white to see if she was adopted. He was and I watched them go over to the river and then I continued to talk with my friends. As I was talking and standing there I couldn't help but think that I should have gone over to talk to them. Well they had walked on and I thought maybe they had left but then noticed them along the river again. I told my friends I was going to go and introduce myself to them. I walked up and admired their beautiful little girl and asked where she was adopted from. Rwanda! Turns out that they used a different agency but out of the same orphanage that we will be using. She told me her name and I remember reading a blog whose daughter had the same name. After I got home and checked their blog it turns out that it was the same one I had read a couple months ago. God is so amazing how He places things and people in our lives just when we need them. How awesome! We talked for a bit and it was truly amazing that we came to meet each other since they actually live in South Dakota. They have some big decisions to make and I pray that God leads them down the path the He wants them to take, we will pray for their family.

God knew that I really needed some encouragement and He gave it to me through a chance encounter with another couple who adopted from the same orphanage, who have 2 boys also and who are Christians. That is something only He could do. For those of you who are not believers all I can say is that you are missing out on the miracles He has planned for you. I'm going to end this post on the upside for a change and hopefully there will be more on the positive side in the future.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What took you so long?

I was reading a book "Small Town, Big Miracles" about a small town in east Texas that challenged their congregation of 200 members to adopt children in the foster care system. That little town adopted 72 children, amazing! Anyway, one of the stories told in the book was about a little 4 year old boy and the single mom who adopted him. She was trying to convince him that he was home and that she was his "mommy" forever. He looked up and asked her what took her so long? Her reply was that it took her this long to find him. That just made my heart break. That seems to be the question that is on my mind these days. Dominic and I went to see the latest Shrek movie and even in that movie Fiona asks Shrek where was he and what took him so long. It was like a recorder going off in my head again. What took you so long? That's why Mother's day was so hard for me because I kept thinking about our little girl not being here with us. That's why I have been so irritated and frustrated with the police station and the doctor's office. Don't they realize that when they put off doing paperwork I need it just puts her off too? It may only be a few days but sometimes timing is everything. Because the doctor's office didn't get a form notarized then it puts off getting the homestudy approved another week, that delays getting the I600A sent in, that delays getting our approval and getting everything authenticated and submitted to the Rwanda government. Sometimes a week can mean the difference in months down the road because of holidays, vacations and other unexpected events. I don't want her to look at me one day with big soulful brown eyes and ask me that question.

To my little girl:
I'm sorry it took me so long to find you. God had a plan all laid out before us and when the time was right and we were both ready He put us together. Now as a family we don't have to worry anymore because you are home and we will never leave you.
love, your mommy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

lukewarm faith, not here!

In 1980 a young man from Rwanda was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made- I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap giving & dwarfed goals.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.

I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me & when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.”

I found this article on "The Way of the Master" television website and thought how inspirational it was. If only my faith was as strong as this man's. Just keep working.

Monday, May 10, 2010

ahhh mother's day

We had such a nice mother's day at the Snyder house yesterday. Well, actually we weren't home most of the day which made it even better. It has been a while since we've gotten to take a day out of town where we didn't have to rush around and hurry home. Dustin took the kids and I to Iowa City where we got to eat at Texas Roadhouse and also went shopping at the mall. It was really a great day of relaxing and hanging out with the family. Thank you to my family for such a wonderful Mother's Day :)

During church while the pastor was talking about how much mothers do for us all and honoring and respecting your mother no matter what type of relationship you have I was hit very hard. Not because I have a bad relationship with my mother (I don't) or because I'm adopted but because of this whole adoption process. My heart literally breaks for our little girl when I think about how I don't get to spend this day with her and she has to spend it in an orphanage. When I told Dustin a little bit about how I was feeling he asked if it was because I just wanted her and I do think that is part of it. He reminded me that hopefully by next Mother's Day we will either have her here or we will be in Rwanda getting her, either way I hope he is right. It was emotionally a very rough day for me. I prayed for her a lot yesterday as well as for our family. My heart breaks when I stop to think about her and I pray that God looks after her and fills her heart with the promise of a forever family.

Adoption is such an act of trust you have to have faith or there is no way you could ever get through it. There are no guarantees in life, but with adoption it seems to take on a whole new level. People who know me probably know that I am a control freak. When you are pregnant you certainly can't control your pregnancy but there are things that you can do within your control that can affect the outcome of your baby and delivery. You can take prenatal vitamins, you can have regular checkups to catch any medical problems, you can also decide what kind of delivery you want to have most of the time. With adoption you can fill out your paperwork in the time that you want, but you don't get to pick and choose what paperwork to do. Then you just have to wait for other people to do their jobs and whether you get a child and what child you get are completely dependent on it. Pray Pray Pray seems to be the only thing I can control. Trusting God is such an awesome experience but at the same time it is soooo hard. I sometimes think it's also scary but when I really think about it trusting Him is not scary because I know that His plan for us is so much greater than anything I could come up with so why be scared. In the last week it has been all about trying to control my emotions. If you ask Dustin how well that's going he would be probably say not very well :) I feel like I keep blogging about the same thing over and over again, trust God. Can you tell I constantly need that reminder?

Pray that our little girl is fille with God's love and His promise of a forever family. Pray that she can feel our hearts connecting to hers and that she is already loved. Pray that I will not have an emotional breakdown and pray for Dustin who has to put up with a sappy wife. Also pray that the other storms in our life right now will work out so we can concentrate on the adoption and move through the process seamlessly. Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

if money were no object

I was talking to a friend of mine who was asking about when we travel to Rwanda if we were taking the children with us or not. I said that if someone just gave us $10,000 that we definitely would, but realistically probably not because it will be expensive enough just for the two of us to go. I told Dustin that same little scenario and he said that if someone just gave us $10,000 that we would get another child. That was very unexpected. I knew that I certainly wouldn't mind getting siblings but I had no idea that the only thing holding Dustin back was the money. It was sort of inspiring, made me think of Dustin in a whole new shiny way again. Now, if someone would just give us the $10,000 then it would be settled :) Until then we will continue to pray and prepare.

Yesterday we had our second homestudy meeting and we will have the last one done next Monday, woo hoo! Not that it was a horrible process or anything but that means if it is done we can move on to getting our dossier moving through the system. Our case worker said that they already got the fingerprints back and that everything checked out okay. I have to send in our police reports to awaa today and see if we can just use the same ones for our dossier or if we will need to have them done again. It would be fantastic if we could just use those but I'm feeling a little doubtful about it. We also just got Dustin's passport in the mail yesterday so that is one more piece of paperwork to check off the list. People who know me probably know that I LOVE to check things off lists, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The other forms that need to filled out can't be done until we get everything notarized and we can't get everything notarized until the homestudy is done. Dustin just has to get his physical done and then we will have all our paperwork for our dossier.

It feels like we have already been in this process for so long but it really hasn't been. We were officially accepted March 1st so it's only been a couple of months, in the world of adoption it's not very long at all. Maybe it's because we have been so involved with getting all the formality done that it just seems like time is standing still and we've been in this same spot forever. Anyway, I know there is plenty more waiting to be done and the time will seem to inch past but everyone keeps saying once you get your child it won't even matter how long it took. I'm just praying for the peace that gotcha day will bring.

So, very off the subject but Dustin and I watched the movie What About the Morgans? It was really a pretty good movie and Dustin didn't even mind that it was a chick flick because it was still funny and not too mushy. Then they completely ruined it with the last scene. If you haven't seen the movie and don't want to know what happens, stop reading here! Otherwise I am going to completely spoil the end of the movie. The last scene of the movie is supposedly 6 months later after the Morgans have gotten back together and they are coming home from picking up their adopted child. It's this adorable little asian girl and then you see Sarah Jessica Parker holding this baby and pregnant. Ok now any of you who know anything about adoption know the ending is such a sham. First of all if the baby is Chinese there is NO way that they would have her 6 months later when they hadn't even started the paperwork then. Also if you become pregnant while in the adoption process you can't adopt. Of course this seems so stupid because it is just a movie but I was so ticked off that they ended a good movie with this unreal perception of adoption that I just had to vent. I'm done now, thanks!

This beautiful weather is not inspiring me to work on the bathroom but it must be done, we are on a time crunch. Thanks again for reading and if you happen to have an extra $10,000 just laying around and don't know what to do with it you can always send it our way. Then we will be the Snyder 6. lol :)