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!

Monday, August 30, 2010

processing

If you have been following my blog you know that I am a control freak who can be completely obsessive compulsive about things. All good qualities I know, lol. Anyway, in light of the recent news about Rwanda adoption processes my anal retentive ways have kicked themselves into high gear seeking out other options. Now the problem with this is that I am not trusting God and trusting what He is telling me. I am try to know more than God. We all know that never works because we never know more than Him and then when bad things happen we wonder why. So today I have really been taking a backseat to my emotions and to my natural bent and trying to slow down with this whole adoption thing. Dustin and I had a nice little talk that really has confirmed what God has been telling me recently. Sometimes I can't tell if it is God or if it is just me thinking it's God and using it to my own will so I wasn't sure. We are meant to go on a mission trip to Rwanda, not to adopt from there. We are definitely meant to adopt. Last night I awoke with a feeling that if we try DRC (congo) that we will fail because there is a third place God has in place for us. I don't know if it's out of fear about DRC, adoptions are still very new to that country and I don't want to get hurt again and neither does Dustin. Today Dustin said he felt like we're led to take a mission somewhere in Africa while we wait and that he didn't want to rush into DRC.

I have always struggled with letting go and letting God. Every time I finally let go, and I mean REALLY let go, God blesses me with what I need. This is no different. I just tonight was finally able to say to Him that this whole situation is His and I can't do it. His will be done no matter what. I knew I had really let it go because that sense of calm and peace washes over me that I certainly don't have when I'm clenching onto things. Now the hardest part is to just wait. My heart is broken for this little girl that I thought was ours. We are grieving this loss and I know other people won't understand it, unless you've adopted or if you've ever had a miscarriage. It's a loss of something that you never really had, of a person you never got to know, but it is very real.

So far now I would not consider us in the adoption process any longer.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rwanda adoptions are closed

Well the good news is God answers prayer. I asked God to open up more people's hearts to adopting and especially from Rwanda. God did that! I asked God that he might look after all the orphans in Rwanda. He's doing that! Now here's the paradox...God does not always answer prayer exactly the way WE would like Him too. Here's what I mean by that: There are so many families that are wanting to adopt from Rwanda that there are over 100 dossiers waiting to be approved in the MIGERPF office. Rwanda is in the process of becoming a Hague Convention country which means that they have to adhere to all the International rules of adoption to make it harder to exploit children. These are both great things! This also means because of the high number of dossiers and the certification Rwanda is shutting down their adoption processes to any new dossiers as of August 31st.

I know that God has big plans for our family, He has been revealing that to me lately. I don't know if that has anything to do with the adoption or not. Anyway, I also know that God has promised us a little girl in Rwanda. Reading my bible and paying close attention to stories of couples waiting for the children God promised them has really been helping. Today after the news about Rwanda I opened my bible to Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. It's a short verse that I can use as my mantra during these difficult times. I am disappointed but am still faithful to trusting and obeying God. God's plan is so much greater than I can ever fathom.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

fingerprinting done

Well we went to Des Moines yesterday to get some adoption stuff going. Our federal fingerprinting appointment isn't actually until next week but we were told you can go in anytiime to get them done. The catch is that they still won't process it until your appointment date. At the very least though we were able to get it done without having to drive the 2 1/2 hours there for our appointment at 8 am and the kids are not in school yet so we didn't have to worry about getting them to school and having someone watch them afterwards. While we were at the state capital getting our fingerprints done we decided to get most of our dossier documents authenticated by the secretary of state as well and got a couple more copies of our birth certificates just in case. It only took a couple of hours to get it all done, but sitting in an office waiting is never a fun chore for the boys. Oh well, they knew that we would also be taking them to the zoo to add some fun to the day for them.

They had received free zoo passes from the library reading program and were just dying to use them. It was a great day for the zoo, the weather was absolutely beautiful. Both the boys had fun feeding a giraffe, feeding the goats, watching the penguins get fed, watching the sea lion demonstration and checking out all the animals. We spent over two hours there which was just enough time to keep them busy without seeming like we were there all day. We even saw some friends of ours from Burlington up there. It was really nice to chat with them for a little while as the kids continued to roam the petting area. Overall the zoo was great fun and we were all glad we went.

After the zoo we went to dinner with some friends of ours who live in Ames. We met them in Urbandale for sushi at a place that we have never heard of before. We were trying to use the gps on Dustin's phone, needless to say we turned around several times before we got there. I am not a navigator by any means which is not good when you're in the passenger seat trying to be the navigator :) We did make it there a few minutes early and had a very nice dinner with them. It's so exciting because they have already adopted one little boy domestically last year and are in the process of adopting three more from the Congo. They have also really gotten their church excited about the ministry of adoption and several other families are adopting as well. I love it when God's work is infectious like that. I would love to see our church grab hold of adoption, but know that if that's to happen it needs to start with us getting the word out.

So Dustin is always very aware of how other people look at our family and especially when we go out of town because it seems like more things come up. We always tease poor Dustin as just being "the white guy" because our boys don't look much like him but clearly look more like me. There were several times during the day that Dustin was assumed to not be a part of our family where he had to tell him that he was with us. It's sort of funny and sort of not all at the same time. It was also sort of funny because when we were at the federal building getting off the elevator we looked sort of lost as to which direction to go. The woman on the elevator asked if we were looking for INS which we just said yes, eventhough we were actually looking for the Dept. of Homeland Security (USCIS office). We knew they would be down the same way. After we got in the office Dustin and I started to giggle because we thought how funny it is that she assumed we were looking for the immigration office. It makes me think of what kind of reactions we will get once we bring home our little girl and add another race to our family. I think people will be thoroughly confused by the white guy, asian lady, two asian boys and a little african girl. Just something to think about.

On another note, I have been much more accepting about where we are in the process. I am no longer as depressed as I was and I am looking at things in a whole new light. For everyone who prayed for me, thank you! There are many reasons for our waiting and it will be an adventure to see what those are as the next year unfolds.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

it's getting better

Several people have reminded me in the past week or so that eventhough my pain of longing for our little girl hurts there is another mother with an even more sickening pain. The pain of losing a little girl. Those reminders have turned my focus off my own feelings and onto our little girl's birth mother. I don't know if she has already given her up or if she will be giving her up, but I do know that I can pray for her. How selfish am I for being angry and frustrated over this? I am now praying over our little girl, over Rwanda and over the decisions her poor mother has made or will have to make. That pain is so much greater than the pain I have been feeling. Thank you to those who are helping me keep things in perspective.

On another note, we re-signed all our notarized papers last night with the help of a friend from church who happens to also live just around the corner from us. I noticed that the notary stamp on our police reports expires in March 2011, which I originally thought would be fine but because of the delays in Rwanda will probably have to get those redone again. Thankfully our notary from church doesn't expire until 2013 so that should give us plenty of time. We were planning on taking a trip up to Des Moines tomorrow to get our fingerprints and certification done, but have decided to postpone until Monday. If the weather is nice we will try to work in a trip to the zoo while we're there, dinner with some friends and maybe some shopping too :) The word is that eventhough we can get our fingerprints done earlier they won't actually process them until our appointment date anyway, but at least this way we can get it done on our own time instead of at 8:00 on a Monday morning.

This will be our last little family excursion before school starts on Thursday. I have mixed feelings about the kids starting school. I am glad that they won't be bored anymore but I am also sad that they are getting older and I won't get to spend as much time with them. It will be exciting for them to go to a new school this year, I hope that they make some really good friends there and that they love their teachers. While they are at school I need to find my motivation to get some things done. There are several adoption grant applications that are awaiting my attention and the gym has been bellowing my name for several months now. With the kids in school there are no more excuses! I also have a new foundation to be part of that will hopefully be requiring some of my attention and keeping me busy. This year since I have no preschoolers I decided to volunteer in moppets watching the kids of MOPS ladies. It is a ministry that I have been blessed with for the past few years and will be repaying that favor so other women can also be blessed with the opportunity to go. Now hopefully next year when we get our daughter I will be able to go back as a MOPS mom, but if not I will just continue to serve in moppets.

Please continue to pray for our family. I told our youngest son this week that he would be in first grade and would be 6 years old before his sister would come (he just turned 5 july 7th). He has been anxiously awaiting her arrival. One blessing is that since we will have to wait so long, we may be able to save enough money for the boys to go to Africa with us. God has this whole plan worked out and one day I will get to see the work He has done. Please pray for our little girl, for Rwanda, for the people at the Home of Hope and for our little girl's birth family. Mugisha ishimwe (God bless)

Friday, August 6, 2010

letting go

Yesterday we had another conference call with our agency. The news appears to be that because of the increase of adoptions in Rwanda and the current political situation that the wait time to expect a referral has also been increased. When I once hoped we would get to take our little girl to Kansas for our niece's graduation next year is now turning into hope that we will have her home by next Christmas. In the past month my hopes and spirits have fallen, and now with this news I know it's my time to let it go. The reminders of God's plan have not been enough for me, I have not truely given up control of this over to Him. It's time to let her go and giver her to Him. I don't know why it's so hard for me to do this. I know in my heart that it is the right thing to do and that God will protect her, but it hurts me so much to do it. I feel a great sense of loss instead of the hope I should feel.

We continue to wait for our biometrics appointment. We need to get some paperwork redone so I can submit it to our agency for approval before we get it all authenticated through the state. I will work on that this weekend or next week. Rwanda elections are Monday which is also the same day as a new friend is moving close to us with their little girl they just brought home from Rwanda last December. Please pray for all of the families who have been waiting almost a year now for any word from Rwanda. Pray for continued strength for me, I really need it. Thank you so much for following my blog, but if you see me please don't ask how the adoption is going. Right now I just can't handle it. Each member of our family will celebrate two birthdays during this adoption process. That's a long time. God's work is not done yet.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PTL

This post is dedicated to the Walser family who just got their referral for a little girl from Ethiopia last Wednesday. They needed to have $8300 for the referral fee by Friday August 6th in order to keep the referral. Praise The Lord as of last night (only 4 days after referral) They raised over $8500! God is good all the time. When we can't, He can. They started with not more than $100. Wow, it made me cry to think of all the people that they didn't even know who contributed so they can bring home their little girl. It's jut so amazing!