The Garrisons

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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Preparing, Waiting....and More Waiting

I keep thinking I'm going to update the blog when I have some definite news! While that hasn't happened (getting definite news, that is)....I thought I would check in and let you know what we've been up to.

We are currently waiting on all of our paperwork to be completed (come on, M*WA!) so that we can be submitted to the US Embassy for clearance (meaning they've checked out all of paperwork and say that everything looks good to issue our kids' visas). We are hoping and praying that all will be in place so that we can be submitted this Wednesday. (Would you pray for that, please??) If that happens, we will then be - you guessed it - waiting again to be cleared by the embassy. They tell us they will let our agency know when/if we are cleared 7-10 days after submission. Here's the good's seeming that when you are cleared by the embassy to travel, you can pretty much come right away...have an appointment possibly the next week, get your kids' visas, and bring them home!!

So, it's kind of difficult to plan for a trip when you don't know when you'll be going. We are preparing and planning for the earliest possible date we think it could be, while trying to prepare our hearts that we may have to wait longer. It's not an easy task.

We are keeping busy around here organizing and planning for our kids to come home...we've done some work in the basement and are creating a play area for the kids. I'm working on some things I've needed to get done, and know I won't for a while once Grace, Aleigha, and Solomon come home. There is no way I'll get to all of them, but I'm enjoying the motivation I have to at least accomplish a few things on my list!

I'm afraid this is a bit of a boring post. We'd love to have big announcements, plane tickets purchased, and be jetting off to get our kids. For now, I'm focusing on enjoying our life at home...the last days of being a family of six. Things will never be the same again, and although we are excited about the change, there is something sweet about these days, too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Wow. I've seen this video once before and....well, WOW. Please is only 8 minutes long, is so worth the watch.

"Remember, you call yourself my body. I'm not there, except through you. Your hands...those are my hands. Your feet....those are my feet. That's my heart. If it's not beating, my heart isn't beating on this earth anymore. I work through my body - I am a father to the fatherless through my body. I rescue the weak and the vulnerable through YOU. If you're not doing it, no one is."

Thursday, January 13, 2011


We were beyond thrilled to get a surprise call that WE PASSED COURT today! We did not have a court date today, but somehow all of the pieces fell into place and we are so blessed!! Enjoy the pics of our kids....thanks to all who prayed!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not what we wanted to report...

We did not pass court again today. Our MOWA letter still was not written and in our file, so the judge cannot pass us through. One paper separating us from our kids. (Although, unfortunately, there is actually more US embassy paperwork after this).

I realize what my reaction is supposed to be....'God has a his timing...trusting in him'. Well, I know those things are true, and I am trusting in him. (Thank do people make it through things in their life without him???) I know he has the perfect time for our kids to come home and that things will happen in his time. But today, I don't want to talk about it. I'm just sad. My kids are on another continent and we are being kept apart by a piece of paper. All of this is delaying our bringing them home.

Sooo.....we wait for another court date. Hopefully the judge will assign it sometime this week and the date will be in the next week or so. Who knows. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 10, 2011

No news is....well, not good news

We heard from our agency today regarding court. The only problem was...there was nothing to tell. They still have not been able to get in to see the judge and see if our MOWA letter has been written. I guess the only good thing about this news was it was better than being told our letter definitely wasn't there and we had to wait for another court date.

As I understand it, there are two things that can happen from here:
  • We could be called (hopefully later this week) and be told that our MOWA letter is in place and we have passed through court, or will very soon.
  • OR - If our letter is not there, we will most likely be assigned another court date, and will wait to see if MOWA has our letter in place by then for us to pass. (Surely....right?)
That's it. We are hoping to know more this week, but there's really no news as of now. Hoping, praying, and crossing our fingers and toes (I know this is getting serious, right?) that we'll have good news and can post pictures of our kids later this week.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Teenage Baby!!

Happy Birthday to Elijah, my teenage baby!! As we celebrate his, I mean 2nd birthday, I thought it would be fun to share some pictures from the past year (in no particular order!)

Did you need something??

Sending an email to my peeps.

What are you crying about? Big baby. (he says to his new little brother, S)

Who is up for playin' hoops? I just need to bring my blanky.

Yeah, I like what?

Need some help with that?

A day's work never ends...

The ladies love me.

Can't you see I'm busy?

We love you, Teenage Baby! You bring laughter and joy to our home every day and we are so blessed to call you ours!!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Elijah!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Something Bigger than Me

About 7 years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom and found myself feeling discontent...not with my situation or material blessings, but with the feeling of wanting to do more with my life. I had no idea what that 'thing' might be at the time, but I began praying a prayer....I asked God to do something so big in my big that others would realize that whatever it was could only be done through HIM, and not by myself alone. I had felt this urgency that God had something else for our lives, and I so wanted him to reveal his plan to me.

Fast forward to a year 3 'big' kids were all old enough to be in school, and I went back to teaching at a Christian school. This was a good plan, and I was excited about it, but it still didn't feel like 'it', you know what I mean? I felt purposeful with my days, loved getting to know my students, and appreciated the opportunity to be at the same school my kids were at. It was a pretty good set up, really. I continued praying the same prayer, and wondered if I was just being discontent, or if there really was something else God had for me to do.

We started our first adoption journey in May 2008. At first, it honestly didn't occur to me that this might be a piece of the puzzle to the prayer I had prayed off and on for almost 5 years (I know, I'm a little slow, right?) As we took a step of faith to adopt from Ethiopia, it did feel...well, big. So many questions....what about my will we pay for it fair to our kids to ask them to give things up in order for us to will this affect our family...and all of the 'what ifs' that come in an unknown situation. Over time, I did begin to feel like that was our ' big thing'.

And it was. But it was really only the first step in a bigger thing I could never have imagined at the time. (I was never going to be the woman with 7 kids....although I'm so glad I am!) And now that we are in our second adoption, waiting to bring THREE kids home....I will tell you - I know FOR SURE - that this is the big thing I asked God to do through me. This is what the discontent was about...He did have something for us to do, and it took 5 years of asking him to show me what it was - but this is it. And, I'm so grateful.

I still have discontent. I was speaking with a friend today about holy discontent. It's not the kind of discontent that comes from being unhappy with one's circumstances... (Are you kidding me - I just got home from Ethiopia!) I don't want the latest gadget, a new outfit, or a different house. I want to be used. Holy discontent is good, and I want to sit with it and let my heart be open to whatever God has next.

It feels good to have the answer to my prayer many years ago. But I also know it's not the only answer, and it's not the end. There is more for me to do, and I'm keeping my heart open for the next answer...whenever that may come.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Court Date #2....Not Happening

Court date #2 was scheduled for tomorrow, January 4. We received word today that it's a no-go. UGH. The judge (who hears all adoption cases in Ethiopia) has decided to take a vacation this week due to Ethiopian Christmas.

We are bummed to say the least... We've been told that our agency will check into whether or not MOWA had written the letter for our court case tomorrow. If it was written, our agency will try to push our court case through for approval without have to wait for another scheduled date. If our letter was not written, we will have to wait to be assigned another court date.

I guess I probably don't need to tell you that this is hard. So, I won't whine about it, because I'm guessing you can imagine. Please just pray for that letter to be in place and either for court approval next week or a speedy new date.

Thanks for walking this with us!