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, December 28, 2010

2011...oh what will you bring?

Christmas is over, the tree is put away and I don't think that ALL the goodies will ever get eaten.  It was a happy time but at the same time my heart still aches for the one who is missing.  Christian, 5 years old, wrote his list to Santa and at the bottom of his list was a Barbie for his sister.  It made my heart melt that he is also thinking about her.  As all our friends and family ask us about the adoption and when we might expect her all I can say is I hope she is here with us next Christmas, but there are no guarantees.  Sitting in the church Christmas Eve looking at all the families and all the little girls I dream of our little girl with a little red headband, white tights, black shoes and an adorable Christmas dress.  For those of you who know me you know how I am ALL about dressing up :)  It will be quite ironic if our little girl hates to wear dresses because I LOVE LOVE LOVE to wear them and will love to have someone new to buy them for (I don't think either of our boys would appreciate it if I tried to put a dress on them, lol).  Anyway, as we get ready for the new year I think about all the new things that happened this year and anticipate with much joy what God has in store for us in 2011.  I pray that there will be two trips to Ethiopia, the homecoming of our little girl and a closer relationship to God. 

A couple of posts ago I mentioned an article about Ethiopia adoptions and what's going on over there.  Well it seems that they are definitely cracking down because many of our families are not passing their court dates the first time around and some are even on court date #6 (please pray for those families).  The latest court dates for families who have received referrals are in March.  It's very disappointing for those families because there were no February dates assigned and that's just another month longer they have to wait.  The court date is only the first time you go and meet your child and they become legally yours, you still have to come home and wait for an embassy date before you can go back over and then FINALLY bring them home.  So families who got referrals in November are just getting a court date in March, that they may or may not pass first time around so won't be getting an embassy date till at least April if not May.  Oh that is such a long time to wait for your child.  Now here is the selfish reason I have tracked/obsessed over this in my mind:  if those families don't get to bring their children home till late spring then there won't be many referrals given out.  The transition home our agency has only holds so many children and the more children that are there the fewer new children can come in to be referred.  {sigh}  I think that the wait will be longer than I originally anticipated.  When I once "hoped" for a referral around Easter and to possibly be home by the rainy season reality is settling in that I just hope to have her next Christmas.  That may even be too idealistic.  It's okay though.  God has this perfect timing that I don't understand.  Why would I ever want to mess up the wonderful miracles He lays before us?  I will use this time to trust in Him, to do His work and to grow ever closer to Him but...my heart will still hurt for our little girl as we miss her birthday again, as we missed Christmas, as we will miss many many other things to come in 2011 without her.

Pray that all the paperwork for these families waiting for court gets submitted so their children can legally become theirs.  Pray that sickness will leave the transition homes so more children may be referred.  Pray that those families waiting for money will be blessed with what they need.  Pray that these children will be filled with God's love and the love that their families are waiting for them and crying tears over them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the "rules"

We are certainly far down on the waiting list but this post from an adoptive mother seems pertinent to how I feel right now.  Read this post for a list of the "rules" about waiting mommas.  It will explain so much about me and my often times weird emotional swings (sorry Dustin).  It will also be even worse when we do get close and are "on deck", lol.

Last week while I was at church another adoptive mom asked me how things were going and if there was any news or movement.  Of course my answer tends to always be about the same, "no it will probably be 5 or 6 months, hopefully sometime next year."  She then asked if I was tired of hearing that.  As I thought about it sometimes I do get a little tired of answering that question but at the same time I welcome the question because one day I will be able to answer with new information.  So if you see me you can continue to ask me how things are going with the adoption.  When we see some movement I will be so excited to answer your question :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

today's just one of those days

You know how some days are just rougher than other?  Well today is one of those days...a rough adoption day for me.  Through this entire process I have remained loyal to my weepiness, obsessiveness and irrationality.  Today is no different.  Someone on the yahoo group posted an article talking about Ethiopian adoptions and how the government is cracking down on many orphanages, agencies and adopting groups to weed out any abuse going on in adoptions.  I have every ounce of faith that our agency works ethically and is doing everything they can to make sure that all the children are treated well and are truly orphans.  This is a good thing that they are scrutinizing unethical orphanages and making sure everything is correct.  I think though after Rwanda my heart skips a beat.  Some of the what ifs start to creep up.  What if they decide to shut down Ethiopia like they have done with many other countries?  What if we have to wait much longer than we thought?  What if we weren't supposed to adopt?  What if this is part of God's plan and I don't understand what He wants us to do?  What if...?  So today all I can do is to count on God being my sovereign God.  That His will and His perfect timing are all I need and to trust no matter what happens I will still love and trust Him.

The conferece call from AWAA posted today as well so I listened to that after I read that article.  There was definitely some good information in the call, but it still remains that really they can't tell us much because there are so many variables that are out of their control.  I'm still hopeful that we could get a referral this spring but also have to plan for not getting one until much later.  After the conference call I checked my blog roll and had to read the latest on the Ordinary Hero blog because they are in Ethiopia right now.  There is touching little story on there about a sibling group asking about their family in America.  Of course it made me bawl.  What doesn't these days?  If you have time check out their blog.  They have some great pictures and posts about their time while they are there.

As for me I will continue to go about my day doing laundry, cleaning and running some errands.  I will not let satan take over me with worry and doubt.  Thank you to the rest of the yahoo group for reminding me to stay grounded.  Media sets its own tone and we all know that it is to make money, not to tell the whole truth.  Hope you're having a blessed day and you're sharing that with others around you :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Last chance to win a massage

NEED A MASSAGE?  this weekend we had a fundraiser for the Maxwell adoption and didn't sell as many chances to win the one hour massage from Styltique in Burlington, Iowa as I wanted so I'm opening it up on fb and my blog.  For every $5 donation to my paypal you will get a chance to win and sponsor a puzzle piece.  just send a payment to megansnyder@mchsi.com with your name and phone number in the notes or special instructions box.  I will pick a winner on Friday.  GOOD LUCK!  If you don't live in the area why not just sponsor a puzzle piece or two.  I would love to be able to send them a completed 100 piece puzzle with a nice big check :)

To enter you can also post this on your blog or your facebook and leave a comment on here telling me where you posted it.  Of course you can also send a payment to my paypal, please leave only your name and phone number in the special instructions box, nothing else.  I will enter you in and draw the name Friday morning before MOPS so probably around 8:30 cst.  (sorry I don't have a button on my blog for you to just click and donate to, I don't know how to do that)

Thanks so much for your help and I look forward to a HUGE response!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

new numbers

You would think as obsessive as I am I would remember to look up our new waiting list numbers and put them on my post about being DTE one month, duh!  Well anyway, here are our new numbers.  So excited :)

Infant Girl

Girl over 12 months

Girl over 3 years

Of course these numbers are "unofficial" and one of them is because someone who was on our yahoo group's database we think is actually with a different agency, so that tells you how inaccurate this is.  That is not to discredit the amazing ladies who put this and our NAG list together because it is a lot to keep track of.  Great job girls!  I was of course doing some speculating because there are a ton of people who have court dates coming up this month and next not to mention lots of families who have received referrals and our still waiting for their court date.  Getting caught up from the two month rainy season takes a while but I think by the end of January the Ethiopian courts will be doing pretty well.  There are also quite a few families "on deck" right now that could get the call any day up to another month or two.  Five families on deck waiting for a girl over 12 months, 10 waiting on an infant girl and none for a child over 3, but who's counting :)  That means more referrals, yay!  I know I'm completely selfish in that because it affects SO many more people, but my sinful nature just can't help it.  Dustin was asking me what this means for our timeline.  How long should we anticipate?  He just wanted a simple answer and of course I went into "adoption mode" and gave him my whole theory breakdown.  His response, "so....still 5 months or so?"  Yes.

Continue to pray for all those that have their embassy appointments this week that they all go smoothly and will be able to bring home their children.  Pray for all those who have court dates this month that all the paperwork from all the right agencies will be present.  Thank God for resolving the Shiloh certification so that there is a better chance of passing court this first time around.  Pray for this fundraiser on Saturday that it might be a huge success.  God will provide the perfect amount for the Maxwell family, I know that He will.  Thank you! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

One Month DTE

Ok so one month down and who knows how many left to go.  The first month wasn't too bad so i am looking forward to the next few.  I keep thinking there is so much spiritual maturity and growing that I need to do between now and then.  There are also lots of things I need to work on with my kids and just my parenting in general.  God is using this time wisely, I need to make sure I am too :) 

Dustin and I were talking about adopting multiple children again the other day when he struck me with something that made sense.  Darn it!  I hate it when he makes sense and then drags me into it as well.  Sometimes I just want to stay in my cloud of emotion and not see what actually "makes sense".  So anyway, Dustin was reminding me of how multiplication works when you let God do the math.  A couple we recently met mentioned forming some type of foundation to help local families afford adoption through no interest loans.  If we helped donate and form this foundation and for instance helped even 5 families adopt a year and they all adopted 1 or more children and we continued that even for the next 10 years we could help up to 100 children find forever families.  If even a quarter of those families helped other families adopt then the growth continues.  So in reality, us not adopting more children but helping other families would in deed help many more children find families.  Man it stinks when my husband is right, lol.

Speaking of helping other families adopt...if you happen to live in the area please stop by Great River Christian School this Saturday the 11th from 9-12am.  Missional Mamas is having another open house to sell bags made in Swaiziland, paper bead necklaces from Uganda to support orphan care as well as handmade cards, Gobena coffee and more.  I will also be there raising funds for adopting.  Please come by and help support us!

Now that my shameless plug is done I just want to say Happy OneMonthIversary to all my fellow DTE families!  With so many court dates and embassy dates coming up there will be movement soon.  I hear that after the first of the year the courts start to get caught up from the rainy season.  I know all of us look forward to seeing movement and are genuinely happy for all those who are finally bringing their children home or getting referrals.  Personally I am selfish and I know that it gets us that much closer, many of you are the same too ;)

Pray for all those court dates and embassy dates coming up.  Also pray for all those children waiting.