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, June 25, 2010

i know...i know

This blog is chronicling our journey of adoption, but really I think it's more of a journey of my faith. The past month or so my faith has been a roller coaster ride. I keep saying that I have faith in what God has planned for us but perhaps I keep telling myself that because I am not truly believing it. We have been through many ups and downs with trying to get our homestudy approved by our agency and yet to have it resolved. Yesterday I finally broke down and cried in the arms of my husband over the whole thing. I have been so frustrated with our local doctor's office and then it seems yesterday was the final straw that made me break down. The tears weren't entirely from the doctor's office lack of interest in getting my paperwork done it was simply all the emotions that I've bottled up over this adoption for quite some time now. It was the first time I've really cried in my husband's arms for a long long time. Last night I went out for a drink with a friend of mine and it was mostly conversation about what's been going on in our lives. It was so nice to talk about something else than the adoption and nice to just have the uninterrupted conversation. Yesterday was also the first day of a new bible study one of the MOPS moms started about spiritual gifts. The Christian conversation was good for my soul and a good reminder of what God has in store. This morning when I awoke there was a new feeling in my heart, one of submission.

I have been struggling with my lack of motivation this year to get back into running and really taking care of myself. When I woke up this morning motivation came back. I was trying to find it in myself instead of seeking it from the Lord. I got up early, put on my sneakers, turned in my bible to Ephesians and asked God to give me the passage I needed to start my day. He supplied me with Ephesians 4:17-5:21 about living as children of the light and imitators of God. It was a reminder to me of what my purpose on this earth is...to live for Him. I jogged 2 miles and then walked the last mile listening to Tenth Avenue North. It's amazing how every song I listened to that last mile spoke to my heart and reminded me of what trusting God really means and what it really means to have faith that all things are possible through Him. I raised my hands in praise to him as I walked and prayed. I know God...I know!

The adoption will move along at the pace it is intended to...not on my time. God deserves my trust...worry is just an idol. Does he not provide for the sparrows and how much more valuable are we than them? I can be a shining light unto this world if I let God work with me, through me, in me.

If you are praying for our family please pray that our homestudy will be approved very soon.
Please pray that God will continue to show Himself to us.
Pray that our little girl is safe and healthy and that Rwanda can get through these times of turmoil unscathed.
Pray for peace

Monday, June 7, 2010

uninvolved

Good news is we got Dustin's revised physical back today. I would like to thank that people at Family Practice for getting it done so quickly this time around. I came home and immediately made copies and emailed it to our family coordinator. Now we just wait to hear back from her if it is approved and if our homestudy is approved. Then we can finally mail it into the USCIS office and wait for their approval. Looks like if all goes fairly well we should have our dossier mailed off sometime next month. Although it is all dependent on how long it takes to get approval back and how long it takes to get it all authenticated. If anyone has experience with that I would love to know if it is quicker to drive the dossier to the capital and get it authenticated or if it mailing it is okay too? If it would save a week or two I would be more than happy to take a drive to Des Moines and drop it off. Anyway, it looks like we are getting much closer. Almost all of our other dossier documents are done but still need notarized and approved. I feel like we're at least getting there. At the same time though I wish there was more I could do to feel like an active participant. Right now I feel a like I should be doing more, getting more involved, more fundraisers, something. Speaking of fundraisers...I really need to get going on some so that time doesn't get away from me. As soon as we get our homestudy back notarized and approved we also need to start applying for grants. At least doing things like that will make me feel more involved. Now that school is almost out I really need to think of some more ways to get the kids involved too.

It was funny the other day in the car Christian suddenly asks about when we go to Africa that he and Dominic aren't going to, are they? I said no probably not that they would be staying with grandma and grandpa Snyder, but that it wouldn't be until next year probably. Well then he's asking if how long it will be, will grandma and grandpa take them to school and do they get to spend the night there. Of course I tell him that it will be probably one to two weeks, yes they will take them both to school and yes they will get to stay at grandma's house. Well he was just ecstatic about that. When the time comes I don't know that he will be quite so excited though. It's so cute when he asks me questions about stuff like that because he always prefaces it the same way, "when you go to get our sister from Africa..." The boys will also say things about not having any girl stuff yet, till they get their sister from Africa. I love that they already call her their sister and they don't even know her yet. She is already so much a part of our family.

My mom is already preparing to spoil a granddaughter. She has made a doll for her and when we were at her house I saw several pink girlie things lying around the house. She and my dad know that it will be quite a while till we bring her home but they are so very excited. I have a feeling that this Christmas there will already be presents waiting for her. It would be AWESOME and a MIRACLE of God if we had a referral by then (hint hint God, that's what I'm praying for). My parents have always loved and spoiled the boys, but they just have a special place in their hearts for girls. They often try to give the boys things that are a little girlie only because that's what they've always known. Dustin's mom asked me something about the adoption the other day and Dustin's dad saves every article in the newspaper that has anything to do with Africa. It's such a large continent that a lot of it is not pertinent, but I know that's his way of showing an interest in it. We are thankful that both sets of grandparents are supportive of it. It will be interesting this winter when all the family is around to see what his sisters and my extended family think about it. I am sure there will be lots of questions and misinformation that will have to be addressed. We welcome the challenge with open arms so that they may be more well informed and excited and supportive of our growing our family this way.

Pray for God to show us His plan for us and keep our "good intentions" out of His way. Pray that He keeps showing off His miraculous ways by blessing our family. Pray that all the orphans who are alone tonight will be comforted by His love and presence.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

and so it continues

Well we've had our homestudy completed for a couple of weeks now but haven't gotten it approved by our agency yet. We've had some hiccups along the way that have led to my more recent frustrations. So it continues. We were waiting to get Dustin's physical to get notarized and his blood work to come back, which really didn't take all that long. Of course there are two different dates on it so now it has to get redone and there is an additional test that he has to have done so now we get to wait on more blood work before we can send it into the agency. Right now that is pretty much the hold up on the homestudy. We finally got my letter from the doctor back and notarized and everything looks good with it, but I may have to get mine redone because I had it done in April and Rwanda has a 3 month cap on the physical. So by the time we get Dustin's back, get our homestudy approved, get it sent in with our i600A form to the USCIS and wait to get our approval back from them, my physical will be more than 3 months old and I will have to get it done again and notarized. YAY! We have also been having problems with our background checks. I have been to the police station more in the last two weeks than ever in my entire life. They know who I am as soon as I walk in now and they know exactly why I'm there. The checks that were done for our homestudy are not good enough for Rwanda because they need to be on proper letterhead and notarized. I thought I finally had it done last week but when I looked at the documents after I got home I realized that the notary expires in July 2010. The notary cannot expire before it ends up in Rwanda which if we are lucky will be August. So today I went back again and got another notary to stamp it and now I just wait to hear back from our agency about it. I am sure that just having the second notary stamp probably won't be good enough so our local police dept will probably get to see me again tomorrow. I think they may start locking the door once they see me pull up because I am sure they are tired of dealing with me.

On another note a follow up to my last post about God my encourager. The family that I met decided to make the long move to Iowa. I am sure it is very hard for them to uproot their family such a long ways away, but I am so excited to have them moving so close. It will be so nice to have another little girl adopted from the same country, even the same orphanage, and probably close in age to play with. It will also be so nice to have another family that can relate to what we're going through. I couldn't help but think that our chance encounter was not only for my benefit but also for theirs. Perhaps God placed us together to help them make their decision as well as to help encourage me.

I saw on the AWAA blog that there are families in Rwanda right now getting their children. It makes me hopeful that this time next year our family will be there too. I just can't wait :)

For those of you praying for our family please pray that our paperwork gets finished in a timely manner and that when we send it in our approval will also come quickly. Also pray that Dustin travels safely this weekend and doesn't get into any trouble. Thanks for the prayers.