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!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The rooster crowed three times

Through this adoption process I have really counted on prayer, especially recently. This morning was no different. I woke up giving thanksgiving and praise to my Heavenly Father then began asking blessing and guidance over many things. I was instantly convicted. Last night at my husband's award ceremony for work we were talking with a VP and I intentionally changed the wording I was about to say. In my mind I was thinking, "God has really blessed us" but the words that came out were, "we have been so fortunate". How can I ask my God to bless all these things when I deny His name? I have always connected with Peter in the bible; he's over eager, quick to jump on board and falters easily. So this morning I had to ask forgiveness. For my God is to be praised in my heart, soul and my mouth.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New number!

Today we got the best number in the world....zero.  That's right folks we got our referral call today.   We got a referral for an adorable healthy four year old girl.  She is absolutely precious and already looks like she belongs in our family.  I'm going to interject with what a referral is for those of you who don't know adoptionese :)  After submitting your dossier (all the paperwork you toil over for months) you are put on the waiting list for a referral.  The referral is your child.  It's pictures, history, medical exams and all the other paperwork on your child.  At this time you can either accept or decline the referral.  Of course, we accepted and sent in our paperwork and check today.  Dustin said he was never so happy to empty out our bank account.  Although after the initial high he did think, "oh my gosh we don't have any money!"  Oh well the joy of our little girl combats all of that worry.  We are trusting that God will provide the rest of the funds for us to travel.  Now the question I've been getting is what's next.  Now we wait for a court date, which will be the first time we go to Ethiopia and when we actually get to meet her.  The soonest we could get a court date is March but it could be April or May before we get one too.  With all the changes in paperwork and policies in Ethiopia right now who knows how long it might take.  We will continue to revel in this moment until then.

I have to tell you how God has worked His perfect timing.  Dustin just got back in town last night after being gone since Monday, we are heading to Atlanta first thing in the morning and then he won't be back until later the following week.  We decided to keep the kids home from school today since we would be gone and since he would be gone for so long.  We just wanted to spend some time together as a family.  We did a little shopping, went out for lunch and when we got home I noticed I had two voicemails.  One was from our family coordinator at our agency.  Now for those of you who are waiting or have waited you know that when you are waiting for a referral there are only two reasons you get a call from the agency.  You are either getting your referral call or you're getting a bad news call.  I was anticipating the latter so if it wasn't the referral call I wouldn't be completely devastated.  Well as soon as I got on the line with her she said those amazing words, "this is your referral call".  My heart stopped briefly.  I started waving my arms to my family in the kitchen trying to tell them and listen to her at the same time.  She told me all about her and said she was sending an email with her pictures and info.  Good thing too because Dustin was asking me what she said and I had no idea, I couldn't focus on what she was saying at all.  We gathered the family and opened the email.   It was completely surreal.  Now isn't it amazing that our family was home at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Thursday so that we could all be together when we would see the newest member of our family? 

After we printed everything out, hugged, cried, hugged some more and kept looking with amazement at her picture I got some more phone calls.  It was actually quite hilarious because I was talking to people about Hearts at Home, bible study, and Scentsy minutes after this monumental news and they had no idea.  I was doing everything in my power to remain calm while answering their questions but could only focus on about half of what they were saying.  I'm surprised I could even talk to them at all but it's probably because I was still in shock.  The first few people I told I had to txt because I couldn't compose myself enough to call them without blubbering.  They wouldn't have been able to understand me through the tears :)  It took me a couple hours to compose myself and finally call my parents and other supporters.  The best news ever!

Now the next thing God revealed to me took me a little longer to remember.  In fact, I just remembered shortly before I started this post.  Several weeks ago some ladies on the yahoo group mentioned about writing down dates that you feel certain ways.  For instance if you have had a particularly sad day thinking about your child or felt led to pray for them or other things like that.  I thought that was pretty interesting so kept that in the back of my mind.  Well on January 5th I remember feeling especially emotional.  I was crying and praying for her, for us, for her family, for all the families waiting on paperwork, just praying.  In the paperwork we received today it says that she was brought to the transition home on January 5th.  God was letting a mother's heart across the world feel the pain of her child.  How awesome is our God!

The past few days have been filled with peace about waiting and about life in general.  Psalm 23 calmed my heart and was given to me a couple times.  I needed to prepare my heart for what God was about to bless us with.  I was so excited because we had moved up to 22 on the infant list, 9 on the 12 month list and 3 on the 3 years and up list.  I thought we were doing quite well.  I have been praying for a flood of referrals to come in the end of January and in February.  God provided a flood.  In fact a friend from church just asked me how it was going and I told her to pray for February.  She has been given some weird insight into our adoption and she came back with a response of "praying for February, she's going to be four years old."  She is the same person who kept telling me about having to switch countries when we were with Rwanda and we had to switch.  She is also the same one that said she had a good feeling about Ethiopia.  God has given her wisdom about our adoption, I love it :)

Please pray for our family.  Prayers that all the paperwork is in order.  Prayers that the court date will be soon.  Prayers that the money will come so we can travel and bring her home.  Pray that God prepares her heart for her new family and prepares each one of us.  Please pray for all the families that continue to wait, all the families going to Ethiopia next week for court and all the families who will be waiting for embassy dates.  Thank you Lord for all you have done.  We praise your heavenly name.

Friday, January 21, 2011

no news and lots of news

There has not been much news about our adoption as we are just waiting and our numbers do not seem to be getting smaller.  There are others with news though.  Several families just went to court and did not pass which means that their cases will have to be submitted again.  The families do get to come home but there are some families who have had their cases in court 8 times or more and are still missing some vital paperwork.  Several families are in Ethiopia right now for their court dates and we pray they pass the first time around.  There are also 3 families that are waiting to hear from the embassy to see if they will be able to bring their children home.  There is some paperwork that is either missing or incomplete and if they have to investigate further these poor families may have to take their children back to the transition home, leave and come back again to get them.  Please pray with me that this will not happen and that they will pass their embassy appointments.

As for other news, we have had a very busy week.  My parent's 40th anniversary is coming up on the 24th and my dad decided to do a last minute renewing of the vows and reception.  Since I am an only child I am in charge of most if.  My dad is getting the napkins and plates and I am getting EVERTYTHING else.  Did I mention that I just got the date, time and place last Friday so that gives me exactly 9 days to plan it?  A little stressful for a planner like me.  On top of planning this event something very tragic happened on Monday.  The pastor of our church died extremely unexpectedly.  He was only 43, three kids ages 13,12,10 and was a personal friend of ours.  In fact, I was supposed to meet his wife out this weekend for some fun but fell asleep and stood her up accidentally.  His wife filed for divorce this fall and they were still working out financial and custody issues, it wasn't final yet.  The past few days my friend and I have been helping her out with the children getting them clothes, getting things from their dad's house and just trying to do whatever we can to make their lives a little easier.  Today was really the first day I had to get our own laundry and dishes done and do some things for the reception.  My parent's thing is on Sunday as well as the visitation and the funeral is on Monday.  My husband has to leave town right after the funeral, will get back Thursday night, then he and I fly out to Atlanta right after we take the kids to school on Friday.  I think I was complaining about being bored last week, I take it all back :)

The Perspectives class also started this week and we are part of the core team to help set it up and get it together.  If you have not heard of it you should look it up.  It's such an amazing class!  The book and studying are fairly intense but so worth it.  The class is about the history and biblical truths of Christians reaching out to the nations of the world.  Getting outside of our American Christian comfort and delving into the world of the unknown.  www.perspectives.org

 The boys started Tae Kwon Do this week as well.  They used to do it and then took a break for almost two years.  They were both so excited to do it again and counted down the days till it started.  So until the end of time we will be busy on Tuesday and Thursday nights with Tae Kwon Do.  By the way, Christian was amazed to hear that it's Korean because he thought it was Chinese.  "You mean it's Korean like us?"  Thrilling.

Today and tomorrow will also be filled with picking up Scentsy orders and dropping off baskets.  I am very thankful that there have been some spur of the moment parties because I didn't have anything planned for this month.  I've gotten several random orders and should have enough to make my minimum requirement.   Just another way God has been blessing us.

Ok so this was maybe the most random post I've ever written.  Like I said this has been such a busy week for us and it's hard to connect all of the dots for it to make sense.  The next post from me will probably be our three month dte-versary.

Please pray for those people waiting for paperwork to pass court and embassy.  Please pray that they will get to bring their children home quickly.
Please pray that referrals will start raining down like manna from heaven.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2 months down

Today it has officially been 2 months since we have been on the waiting list.  Quite honestly I can say that these two months have actually gone by pretty quickly.  Not to say that there weren't still tears and heartache, but still quickly.  I got an email from our social worker who said there is another couple in our city that are thinking of adopting from Ethiopia.  They already have a specific child in mind but are trying to find the right agency, etc.  Anyway, I'm so excited to talk with this couple and find out more about their journey.  She gave me their phone number and I looked him up on facebook so hopefully we will get connected soon.  How awesome to have another family so close to go through the process with, love it!

Yesterday Dustin and I had lunch with a couple we met a few months ago that adopted from Rwanda.  We love to talk with them because they have such wonderful insight into travelling and the whole third world adoption process.  They also have lots of connections with people and organizations who travel to Ethiopia for mission work and such.  It's such a blessing to us that they are so open and willing to share all that they know.

Well since there's really no other news this is going to be a short post (for me,lol).  So I will leave you with our updated numbers.  Pray for some serious movement this month in referrals, courts and embassies.

Infant Girl

Girl over 12 Months

Girl over 3 years