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!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homegoods

Ok so I just have to mention how much I would LOVE to be one of those bloggers that gets to test out stuff for free.  That is the best job ever!  The gals over at http://www.mamamanifesto.com/ got to "test" out a $50 gift card to TJ Maxx/Homegoods and you have to read her post about what she got with it.  She did an awesome job of bargain shopping for Christmas.  Anyway, go to their blog and read all about it.  Then you can enter for a chance to win a gift card.  Good Luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

sacrifices and blessings


With Thanksgiving comes the realization of all the things we've been blessed with.  In our adoption we have been blessed by Dustin's job enough that we have not had to fundraise to cover the costs and have been able to donate to others who are adopting.  That has really made me feel guilty as I read stories of other families scrimping, saving, and working diligently on fundraisers.  Then my husband reminded me that we have already sacrificed.  We sacrificed for two years living in a tiny 2 bedroom 900 sq ft house in the ghetto with our family of four.  All that time Dustin was able to get rid of our debt and save and we bought a house.  A house big enough to add more people to our family.  At the time we didn't even know it.  God had this plan worked out for us to scrimp and save for a child we never knew we were going to adopt.  So now I am feeling less guilty about not having to do so much.

We have talked here and there about helping other adopting families and what we can do for them.  Tonight God hooked us up with another amazing couple.  Two weeks ago at our Perspectives meeting we met a couple who have been to Ethiopia on a mission trip and still keep in close contact with people there.  It was amazing to hear their stories.  Tonight at another Perspectives meeting there was a couple who, in the car ride over, were talking about adopting from China or Ethiopia.  They have already adopted domestically and are thinking of adopting internationally now.  They mentioned setting up a foundation of sorts to help local adopting families who would love to adopt but simply cannot finance it.  Dustin mentioned to him that instead of us adopting more children that maybe we should be involved where we help more children by helping more families adopt.  I have been pressing Dustin about adopting either siblings or two unrelated children this time around.  Yes we would have to change some things, again, but it would be cheaper for us to do it now than to decide down the road we want to adopt again.  Plus I think it would be so nice to have an even number.  Two koreans and two Ethiopians would make for a nice balance in children :)  Anyway, God is talking to us through some different people right now.  It will be interesting to see where He takes us.

For anyone who happens to be in closer contact with me than just reading my blog I want to apologize if I go into "adoption mode".  Dustin has brought it to my attention that I may be a little over the top with my adoption talk.  So unless you REALLY want to know about our adoption, about adoption in general or what is going on around the world with orphans you may not want to ask me about it.  If you have already had that interaction with me know that I am just very excited and passionate about it and want to educate people about it.  I have found that the general public doesn't really know that much about adoption or the poverty and the atrocities going on in other parts of the world.  I certainly am no expert in any of this but God really has broken my heart for these people, for these children and sometimes the words literally fall out of my mouth.  I just can't help it.  So again I apologize and please let me know if I am going on and on and on when I'm talking to you.  Just do a quick change of subject, you don't even have to be polite about it.  I will understand what you mean.

Thanks for reading and keep praying.  Pray for our hearts, pray for ALL those families waiting (in whatever stage they're in) and pray for ALL those children who are going to bed hungry, cold and alone tonight.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

who is a smarty ants?

There's a great giveaway for a smartyants subscription.  If you have a beginning reader or a preschooler who's ready to get started you will definitely want to check out this program.  Click on this link to register to win.  http://doodlemedoo3.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

thanksgiving is approaching

As the holidays are quickly approaching I was telling myself that it will make this part of the wait go by so much faster.  Think about how busy we are around the holidays so that means we wouldn't really be thinking about the wait until next year and two months will have already passed.  Awesome!  Ok so why doesn't it work out the way I plan?  (btw sorry for the randomness of this paragraph but this is the way my mind works)  We went to a planning meeting for the Perspectives class that will be happening at Great River Christian school and met a couple who has done missionary work in Ethiopia.  She friended me on facebook so I watched a video she had posted and glanced at some of her pics.  Of course that made me think of our little one waiting for us.  Thanksgiving is next week and all of Dustin's family will be home.  All the cousins will be there, all but one.  This is another Thanksgiving that our little girl will spend without a family.  It will soon be another Christmas that she will spend in the orphanage.  It makes me sick that we won't have her home with our family.  I was also thinking about this in relation to being pregnant during the holidays and I think it so much different.  When you are pregnant through the holidays you just have this great excitement and anticipation of the new baby that will be there next year.  When you are waiting for your adopted child she is not warm and safe in your belly still absorbing all the sounds and foods of the holidays.  She is waiting in line for food at the orphanage, scrambling to get some sort of attention and soothing herself to sleep because she knows that no one is there to answer her cry.  Imagine if it was one of your children on the other side of the world in those conditions during the holidays...how would you feel?

Last week was a big week for "on deck" notices from our agency.  On deck means that you could be getting your referral call anytime although they still say 1-3 months.  There were no referrals given out last week but with all of the "on deck" announcements there should be a lot of referrals coming soon.  As selfish as it is I am really excited about other people getting referrals because now that we are officially waiting that means we get moved a little closer to the top of the list.  I am genuinely happy and excited for other parents getting their referrals, but secretly am selfish also.

Well this actually a fairly short post from me, don't expect it too often ;)  Be blessed and keep praying

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Africa


Our dossier is finally in Ethiopia!  I have been stalking our dossier since we got the official fedex tracking number and it arrived in Addis Ababa after traveling from Virginia to Newark, NJ (I thought it would never leave the United States) to Paris, France (where it hung out over the weekend) to a short stop in Dubais and now finally arriving on Africa soil.  We also got some papers from America World about entering the next "waiting" phase.  I have not had a chance to skim through read it all yet, but will do that sometime today.  I am just so excited to be to this stage after 8 months!

 Over the next few months we are really going to need some prayers.  We will need prayers during this waiting that we (and by we I really mean me) don't get consumed with this waiting.  We will need prayers for the finances to come through so that when we are ready to travel we will have funds in place for that.  We also need some prayers about the travel, Dustin and I are discussing (mostly me, he's pretty much done discussing) some different decisions we need to make about it since it is a two trip thing.  Pray for us to use this time to concentrate on Him, to do His good work and to glorify His name.

On a whole different note about adoption.  A friend of ours from church that has adopted twice posted a comment about our message on Orphan Sunday on my facebook to which my husband didn't understand.  During our talk on Sunday I had mentioned how being "paper" pregnant was indeed very much like being pregnant.  I still got crazy hormones where I cry at the drop of a hat, I still have ditzy prego brain where for some reason I have forgotten "everything" and then she mentioned that often times you still get post partum but now it's post adoption blues.  I was trying to explain it to Dustin, but did not do a very good job at it.  With both pregnancies I never really experienced postpartum (although I thought for sure I would the last time cuz I was a complete wreck during the whole pregnancy).  The best way I could describe "post adoption blues" is that you have been preparing for this event for so long that you almost don't know what to do now that it is actually here.  Plus it is so overwhelming going from what your family was to what it will now be forever once you bring your child home.  I also think that it isn't always what you expected either.  Even if you have prepared yourself for attachment issues, bonding issues and anything else you have read in a book you are never really prepared for it when you have to live it.  Anyone who is reading this that may have a better understanding of this please leave me a comment.  This is all really just what I think it is, I may be completely wrong.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

obsessive much?

#28 is the number we are "unofficially" waiting for an infant girl from our agency

#14 is our number for a girl over 12 months


and #5 is our place in line for a child over 3 years of age.


Today our dossier is hanging out in Paris, France.  I wish I could hang out with it for a while :)  We are so excited about being on the "unofficial" waiting list, so excited in fact that I was stalking the person who updates the list online.  At least she understands the feeling about being so anxious.  Dustin is freaking out just a little because our number for the over 3 list is so small but I did assure him that most of the time that still takes several months to move along.  It probably didn't help that I told him about this great family from our agency that just got their call last night and they have only been waiting for 2 months.  Because we are requesting a girl I don't forsee us getting a referral anytime soon.  Which is really fine with us.  We still need some more time to prepare for her arrival and we need some more time to save funds.  This is the part where if you are a wealthy person just wishing they could do something with their money you write us a check for about $10,000 to cover travel expenses ;)

Speaking of money...Dustin had a very hard time writing the first check to our agency this summer.  This time around he didn't hesitate.  God has really given him more trust in this process and Dustin was happy to send this money off, eventhough it is about 6 times the size of the previous one.  Thank you again honey for working so this could be possible.  Our whole family really apprciates it.

Well it's the day before Orphan Sunday so if you happen to be in the southeast area of Iowa come on over to First Christian Church for our orphan campaign.  It may be quite entertaining (or quite painful) since Dustin and I will be speaking together for the message.  We are not worried about though.  We know God has provided us with more than enough to get through this.  Our hope is to encourage other people to not only feel the plight of the orphans but to DO something about it.



Friday, November 5, 2010

DTE

Okay so we finally got our piece of paperwork back, we finally got to send in our dossier (remember that is the important packet of papers for our adoption that I would jump in front of a bus for) and now we are finally DTEDossier To Ethiopia which means we are finally "expecting".  We are officially waiting for a referral that can take between 3-6 months.  Most of the referrals are about 5 or 6 months but there are a few cases where they get a referral sooner than that.  I would love to have one by my birthday in March, but am completely okay with it if we don't get it our referral till later.  Once we get our referral we will wait another 1-3 months for a court date where we will go over to Ethiopia and meet our daughter for the first time.  Hopefully we pass court the first time around and then we come home (or not) and wait for the embassy date which is usually 3-12 weeks later.  Once the embassy has researched to make sure that everything is legal with the adoption and there is no bribing, trafficking or anything else like that then we will FINALLY get to bring her home.  So, like I said earlier we are "expecting" if all goes well it should end up being the same amount of time as a regular pregnancy.

It feels so good to finally be at this point in our adoption when it actually feels "real".  The past 8 months of paperwork have something to show for now.  We are steps closer to our little girl.  I feel hope for the future, I feel like I can dream about her again.  This weight is lifted and now we start the next phase of waiting.  We will have to see if this waiting is easier or harder than the last waiting period.  I think it will be easier but I have heard that it is much harder.  If you see me in the next few months with tears streaming down my face or my head spinning off from anger, you'll know that this wait is harder :)

Sorry if this post is a little redundant, sometimes when I am so excited my thoughts don't organize well.  Who am I kidding, they don't most of the time anyway, lol.