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!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday


Today our Aliya Wefe Snyder turns 5 years old.  I was really hoping that we would either be home with her or at least be in country with her on her birthday but God has a different plan that I know is far better than mine.  There are several families from our traveling group that are either on their way or are in Ethiopia right now and I had honestly debated about whether or not to leave with them and let Dustin come when we actually got cleared.  In fact, Dustin knows me so well that when he saw me packing up dontations and things a week ago he asked if I had plans to leave soon.  We've been married too long, he knows my every move lol ;)  Well God told me that it wasn't the right time yet so we will wait until that time comes.  Fortunately, we did get submitted to embassy on Wednesday May 25th.  PRAISE THE LORD!  So that means we are finally in the last stage of waiting.  We are just waiting to get cleared by the embassy and awaiting our embassy appointment.  Once we get our clearance we will be on a plane and on our way to get our little girl in our arms forever!  The appointments in June are quickly filling up and from what others have said June 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th and 9th are already full.  We will just have to see how quickly they can get us processed and approved.

It's interesting that eventhough she has never been in our home it feels like she is missing.  At the same time finally getting to this last stage of waiting seems so surreal.  I can't believe that very soon we will actually have her here.  There are so many different emotions and thoughts floating through my head during this last stage.  I wouldn't trade it for anything though :)  Continue to pray for us as we prepare for her homecoming.  When we come home we will need some time to recuperate from our trip and adjusting to a new person in the house.  Depending on how the transition goes you may or may not see us for a while.  We ask that you not hold Aliya, comfort her or give her food for a while so that she will understand that mommy and daddy will fulfill her needs.  When children are used to so many caretakers they don't latch onto one in particular.  We want her to latch onto us.  It will be temporary but we just ask that you respect our wishes and help us to make the attachment with her as smooth as possible.  Thank you so much for your help through this journey and for your prayers.  Without the support of our friends and family we wouldn't be able to do this.

We won't be missing another birthday with her ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

being separated

I've gone through a lot of emotional ups and downs through the course of this adoption and while we were waiting to pass court it was definitely a down time, especially when we thought we had passed and didn't.  I discovered why it had been such a low time.  Not  only was it because I was missing our daughter but also because I was feeling pulled away from my Lord.  Through this process God has given me many reminders and glimpses as to what is going on.  He has given me messages of being patient and peaceful, being humble and glimpses of what's to come.  During the past couple of weeks before passing court I couldn't feel any of that.  I was praying and praying and praying but I wasn't hearing anything from God.  That was the most upsetting thing of all.  That was the reason for my pain, for my confusion, for my grief.  I was apart from my Heavenly Father and I did not know where to find Him, I felt lost.  This week one of our fellow adoptive mommas posted this on our fb page :

...I got great encouragement from today's entry in the devotional by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling..."I, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, am with you and for you. What more could you need? When you feel some lack it is because you you are not connecting with me at a deep level. I offer abundant life;your part is to trust ME, refusing to worry about anything. It is not so much adverse events that make you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation, to bring about the result you desire. Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I AM in control of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to MY PRESENCE. Stop all your striving and watch to see what I will do. I AM THE LORD.". Romans 8:31-32, Micah 7:7.


What a great reminder.  It is not our circumstances that define who we are, it is knowing that Christ Jesus is our path and when we focus on Him nothing else matters.  When we are deeply connected to Him we will not feel lost or broken but whole in His strength.
 
Praying for the families that will be leaving for Ethiopia this weekend to bring their children home next week.  Hopefully our paperwork has made it there and we will be submitted to embassy soon.  Thanking God for giving me the peace of waiting.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

WE PASSED COURT!

Anyone who is a FB friend of mine has probably been wondering when I would finally update our blog.  Well we just got home from a family trip to see our niece graduate high school in Kansas so I thought this would be as good of a time as any.  Six long weeks after our court date in Ethiopia, one prank phone call later and we finally passed court.  We are officially have a daughter Aliya Wefe Snyder.  I was on my way to Missional Mamas this last Wednesday morning when my phone starting vibrating.  Everytime it rings I have to remind myself that it is probably not AWAA and then think of who it probably is.  This time I was telling myself it was my husband.  It wasn't.  Now that does not mean that it was actually going to be good news because they have been calling us quite often with indifferent news and had just emailed me the previous day that they were still actively working on our case, but that's about it.  I was so nervous for her to tell me that we passed and we she did I asked her sort of joking but sort of seriously, "are you sure this time?"  She said that she was sure this time and I told her that if she called back that I was not going to answer :)  Anyway, you would have thought I would be jumping up and down for joy since we have been waiting for so long.  Unfortunately because of the mix-up from the previous week I was not excited at all.  I was still in shock and still very cautious with my feelings just in case something really did go wrong and we would be getting another dreaded phone call.  I didn't even say anything to the MM group until someone asked me about it specifically and when we prayed I thanked God for it.  The girls were sort of in shock when I said it but could understand my intrepidation with our last experience.  I didn't blast it on FB or to our traveling group or the yahoo group.  I was very subtle and sly with it.  On FB I just changed my profile pic to one of Aliya and within a matter of seconds (actually 2 seconds) another AWAA waiting momma spotted it and gave a big WOOOO!!!!!!!!!  Well the cat was sort of out of the bag at that point.  On our traveling group page there was so much good news.  Several families got submitted to embassy that day and another family got cleared to travel.  There were also two familes in Ethiopia picking up their children's visas to bring them home that day.  God was moving some mountains for our group.  I posted a congratulations to everyone and then at the end snuck in there, "btw add Snyder's to the waiting for embassy list".  It took a little while for people to catch it.  I just couldn't handle the rejection of posting it all over the place in big bold letters and then having to remove it, AGAIN!  I am finally over the shock of it and have more excitement.  We are on to almost the last stage of waiting.  We now have to have all of our paperwork submitted to embassy and then wait for clearance.  The US embassy just changed some policies for paperwork so I went ahead and had it all filled out, signed, notarized and mailed to a family that is going to Ethiopia on Tuesday to take it to the in-country staff.  I was glad that AWAA approved it because I had already sent it in the mail :)  Once we are submitted we wait for them to either open an investigation or to clear us for travel.  Then that is the last stage of waiting before we go get our girl and bring her home.  We are filled with excitement and anticipation as we wait!


Ok now I am going to switch gears just a little bit.  During our Missional Mamas meeting one of the girls had posted a link about pillowcase dresses from an organization that sends them to orphanages.  After some brainstorming we decided this would be a great project for us.  We are planning on having a booth down at farmer's market and we were looking for something new to sell there.  MM is going to have a buy one/give one project where you buy an adorable pillowcase dress and then MM will give one to an orphan.  Within the next 3 months there will be 3 different people travelling to Africa who can take these dresses with them and distribute them.  It's amazing how God works that out!  Now what that means is we need some donations of pillowcases and ribbon FAST!  If you would like to donate new or good used pillowcases of any size and/or ribbon of any width please email me and I will get you the information.  If you would like to make some pillowcase dresses and send them to us please email me as well.  We are so excited about this program and are eager to make lots of dresses and tops to sell and to take to Ethiopia with us.  If you would like to purchase a dress we are still in the beginning stages of this project but just as soon as I can I will post a link to purchase one.  Please leave a comment if you are interested.  Thank you again for all of your love and support.