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, June 27, 2011


This message came from a yahoo group that I'm a part of as encouragement for those who are dealing with their kids at home.  There are many struggles bringing home older children and the road can seem dark and endless at times.  Granted we are not at that point yet, but this was very encouraging for me in this dark place that I've been for the past couple of weeks.  Maybe whatever you may be going through it will also be encouraging to you.

Hi All,

I am praying for you all. I usually don't have very much to say, as my eloquence isn't there and my kids keep me running. However, I wanted to encourage you with what God spoke to me about as I was praying this morning.
These kids we have were slotted by the prince of this world for destruction. He had them in every way marked to never hear of Christ let alone understand that God loves them. Our boldness to adopt them and then to be Christ to them puts us in direct opposition to the enemy. Add to that that our love is given even in our greatest weakness and in their greatest weakness, this is the hand of God alone. Thus we are under attack as we came to protect these beautiful kids. I know that there are many days when I feel that my first three kids are the 99 sheep that are left on the hill while I slug through the brambles to get the one that wandered away.
I realize that none of us expected it to be easy, but fighting on this level is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit, and often it is so costly to us. I love you guys in the Lord and weep with you when you weep and rejoice with you when you rejoice.
My thoughts...
Don't grow weary, when you are weary remember that God overcomes on our behalf... I know you all know this already, I just thought it was cool. I am so honored to be among you as a sister in the Lord, fighting the good fight among so many blessed warriors.
Romans 8:26-39 (NASB95)

" 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.� 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

and...still here :(

It has now been exactly one month since we were submitted to embassy with still no word about clearing.  After they received the police report and had the interview they also wanted something re-translated that was incorrect and Ashanke said she had some guardianship papers.  Turns out she was confused and does not have any but now because the embassy thought she had them, has to obtain them.  Now how much sense does it make to get guardianship papers for a child you are no longer caring for and according to the Ethiopian courts already has another family?  None.  Thank you American embassy for your continued perserverance to not make any sense, I wouldn't want our government to fall short on idiocracy.  Anyway, we just got an email from our agency that they were notified the embassy will not have any appointments until July 18th now.  So even if we clear this week it will take a miracle for us to get in earlier than that.  No need to pray for miracles because clearly that is not what God has planned for us right now in this journey.  We just continue to wait.

Know that my faith is still strong but I have accepted that God is letting us go through this pain for some reason.  I don't know if it is a test of faith, I don't know if it's character building, I don't know what it is.  I just know that it is hard and it sucks right now.  I'm not in a good place.  I'm crabby, I'm angry and I don't want to be here one more day.  I just want to go get our daughter.  period.

Friday, June 10, 2011

still here

Well I said that unless something happened you wouldn't be hearing from me until we were home with our girl.  Of course not.  We ended up getting an email from the embassy saying they opened our case for investigation and they would need the original police report from 2006 when Wefe was found by Ashanke and they also wanted Ashanke to come to the embassy for an interview.  It's 7 hours from Wolayta to Addis Ababa so our agency had to contact the orphanage to contact her and find out when they could get her to Addis.  The embassy doesn't have any appointments open until June 16th.  We cancelled our tickets with a small penalty and are now waiting until we get clearance before booking again. 

The hardest part about this information is that we distinctly heard God telling us to take this leap of faith.  Why?  I went through many emotions and anger kept creeping into my heart.  God were we not being faithful enough?  Why would you tell us to do this and then not reward us for trusting You?  I was am hurt by this.  I just couldn't understand it.  A fellow adoptive mother posted on her blog "The reality of warfare when you say yes to following Jesus".  I have heard so many other families talk about the spiritual warfare they have experienced since starting the adoption process but for some reason never thought about it applying to us.  I don't really know why I just never felt like the things we were dealing with were so big that they were warfare...until now.  Of course!  Of course when we said that we would submit to God fully and trust Him completely and take a leap of faith, satan would attack.  This post was such a blessing to me and gave me such peace that it wasn't us not being faithful enough, about us not being good enough, it wasn't about any of that.  This along with other bible verses and fellow adoptive friends has encouraged me this week.  It pulled me from the pit of my despair.  That is not to say that I am not still very saddened by the fact that I had expected to be on a plane over Africa and holding our little girl in 8 hours, but at the very least I am managing.  We did get some more discouraging news today but will remain faithful to God.

I am tired of this journey.  I am weary, I am broken, I need prayer.  Please pray for us.  We don't know when we will go back to get her, but we will wait on the Lord.

Thanks :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Leap of Faith

Adoption is a leap of faith.  There are never any guarantees.  We got into this process out of obedience to God's word and have made it thus far because of our faith.  We decided to go ahead and take another leap of faith by going to Ethiopia without our embassy clearance.  Dustin and I have been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now but decided this weekend that we would go ahead and make plans to leave on Friday.  Through this journey I have done a lot of praying and growing and working on things that God is telling me I need help on (peace, patience, humility, etc.).  Generally speaking I have been the one sort of freaking out during this process emotionally, but this time it wasn't me!  It was actually Dustin, whew.  He has had some very stressful things going on and one night last week we were talking about it and I told him I could tell he has not been praying about any of it.  When he is a big ball of stress he clearly hasn't prayed and doesn't have any type of peace over anything.  He admitted taht he hadn't been out of fear.  Fear of what God might tell him.  I decided it was a good idea to leave him alone for a while and give him some time alone with God.  A little while later Dustin came downstairs and said, "ok we're going to Africa on Friday."  God had been telling him that if we are giong to say we have faith and that we trust Him than we need to do something about it, walk the walk so to speak.  So here we are packing, getting things together, praying that we get embassy clearance soon and praying that we don't run of out money.  God never said that obeying Him wasn't scary, because sometimes it sure is!

We will be taking the smae flights as last time and will arrive in Addis Ababa about 8:00am Saturnday morning.  We will go to the transition home that day and take Aliya out of it forever.  She will be in our custody :)  We are not coming home without her so however long it takes for the embassy to clear us is how long we will be in Ethiopia.  Pray that all goes well.

Today as we sat in church it hit me.  This would be the last time we sat in church with our family the way it is now, a family of four.  The next time we sit in that sanctuary we will have our little girl with us.  CRAZY!  So everything this week is "the last time..."  The last time we will go to the teddy bear picnic as four, the last time we will go out for Sunday lunch as four, the last time I go to prayer group for a while and so on and so on.  It's amazing and surreal and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Thank you God for fulfilling your promises.  Thank you for providing our needs.  Thank you for growing us as a closer family, a closer marriage and closer to You.  I probably won't update again until we get back unless some new revelations happen before we leave.  This will be the last post before Aliya Wefe Snyder is officially in our arms forever :)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Here is the picture we just got last week from her May update.  She looks sassy