The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


We are thrilled to tell you that WE HAVE A COURT DATE!! Our agency called on Monday to tell us the good news. The big day is December 23!! Christmas in Ethiopia!!

When they first called, I was a bit surprised at the late date, as we were hoping for earlier. While it is hard to wait to meet and hold our kids, this date actually works well for our family....Our kids are all going, and now they won't miss any school. Our oldest will be done with finals, and we will spend a Christmas they will never forget in Africa! We've booked flights and will be leaving on Friday, December 17! We're so excited!

We are fortunate to have had a very sweet family deliver care packages to our kids this week - we are so grateful for the opportunity to send them something...we sent many pictures of our family and home hoping that God will somehow use these things to help make us familiar to them in some small way. We know they can't possibly understand all that is happening or will happen. That's hard. We also sent an outfit for each of them, dolls and candy for the girls, and a toy for the little guy.

It's funny the mixture of emotions it brought to hear another family had spent time with my kids. The first emotion was excitement, and overwhelming gratitude. It felt so good to know that another family had seen them and spent time with them. But, if I'm honest, it also brought some hard emotions. They described S*l*m*n as being unsure and nervous, and while that is a typical reaction of a small child who does not know you, it broke a piece of my heart. You see, he's feeling unsure and I'm not there to comfort him....and in the time until I can bring him home, he will have many moments where he just needs his mama - and I. won't. be there. And the kicker is, he will be unsure of me, too. He's not waiting for me to come get him, and we're going to rock his world. The girls', too. Yes, yes, I know that this is good in the long run....but can you imagine? Can you imagine what they must think? or what they will think when their entire world changes.....again. As I thought about Grace, Aleigha, and S*l*m*n that afternoon, the tears came....and came. I don't want to hear about them in reports from someone else....I want to hold them. I want to be the one who is there. So, I had a mini tantrum....and then I gave it back to God....again.

I know all of the things that you could tell me....God will bring them home in His perfect time...God is with them when I can't be.....this is God's plan, etc. And I believe all of it - I do. But sometimes, I just have to have a tantrum. I must look a little like Elijah does when he throws himself to the ground and screams and cries because he doesn't get his way. Good thing God is patient and understands my heart.

I know that God is using this emotion - the concern, the longing, and the grief to weave these precious children into my heart. And so, I am grateful for even the hard days. He is good and is moving to bring them home. So, we are thanking him for news of a court date, and anxiously awaiting the day when we will hold our kids!

"Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise."
Nehamiah 9:5

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Waiting, Grieving, and Promises

Well, I wish this was an exciting post announcing we had new news or a court date, but that is not that case. We wait, along with many other families, to hear news from the Ethiopian courts that we have a date. We had originally thought we might travel around Thanksgiving, and while that is not impossible, the longer the wait continues the more I wonder if that will be the case. We'll see....God knows and we're trusting that He's got it under control. (and when I begin to freak out, Nathan calmly reminds me of that fact....good thing we aren't both prone to freak-outs!)

I would be lying if I said this hasn't gotten difficult in the last week or so. I'm not exactly surprised that we don't have a court date, but I was hoping to be farther up the list by now. There are families still waiting for dates that have had their referrals since July. I've been praying for them, because that's a long time to know who your children are and not be able to go kiss their little faces.

During the wait, I've spent some time trying to process what this has been like for our children in Ethiopia. I won't go into the specifics of their story, because it's theirs to tell, but they've lost much. Think about it - they've lost parents, everyone else who loved them, their home, routine, language, and everything familiar. How does one recover from loss like that? It's caused me to grieve for their loss and try to anticipate what they'll need as they endure all of the change that's coming their way. It's not small. I am praying that God will give me a compassionate heart towards them and wisdom in my parenting....and I'm praying that He will be the Healer of their hearts and prepare them to accept the love we have to offer. I'm trusting He will.

These are the promises I cling to as I wait for them to come home....He loves my children even more perfectly than I do and wants good things for their lives....He knows the exact day and time that we will meet...and when they will come home. He has placed them in our family, and will give us the strength and grace for even the most difficult of days. Adoption is redemption and it is God's idea.....the same God who created heavens and earth is orchestrating our lives and making us family...

"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sweet Spot

I guess you could say I've been a bit distracted lately....and neglected the blog. ( anyone still out there?) We've had a lot of stuff going on since our referral - good stuff - but it's kept me from being very attentive to blogland.

I can hardly believe it's been a month since we received our referral and found out who our precious children are!! We are more and more certain everyday that these are our kids and can't wait to bring them home! Since I last posted, the courts in Ethiopia have opened back up and slowly begun issuing court dates to those families (like us) who are waiting on them. We are still pretty far down on our agency's list to receive a date, so we know it will be a little while before we know when we will travel to Ethiopia for the first time for our court date. We've had lots of people ask us when that will be, and believe me, we'd love to know! All we can do at this point is make a guess - and I'm guessing around Thanksgiving....always hoping for sooner, but trying to prepare ourselves in case it's later. God knows.

Until then, we are busy around here. We've made lots of progress on Emma's new room in the basement and will post pictures as soon as it's done - it's going to be so cute! Once she moves out, we can start to organize the little girls in the room she is currently in. (I can't wait, I've got piles of stuff to be organized in there, and I can't wait to get it all situated....I hate the mess!). S*l*m*n will be sharing with Elijah - and we've done nothing to organize for that yet...we'll get there.
We've begun to research vehicles, which is probably my least favorite part (it would help if the sales guy would ever call us back). I always hate to trade in vehicles, but it's not really optional this time, unless we are planning on strapping a couple of them to the luggage rack. :)

We are finding blessings in the place we are right now. Making the decision to bring our three new kids into our home has put us in a place of total dependence on God. We are depending on Him to provide all that we need....financially, emotionally, and logistically. This is so beyond us that there is no way to even pretend we've got it covered ourselves. Sometimes when we talk about all we need to do or about one more thing we need to pay for (usually costing in the thousands), I almost just have to laugh.

There is something very sweet about being in this place. The only choice we have is to sit back and watch God provide...and He is. We have not had an expense or payment yet that we've not been able to pay, and we've seen His hand in many ways. While it might be my natural inclination to worry about some of this, I can feel God's hand in it and it brings me such peace. (I do have my moments, but overall, He's been so good to me in this area). I love sitting in the sweet spot of watching my God work out all of the details in this crazy journey He's led us on. Imagine the blessings we would have missed had we not listened.