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It is incredible to realize that we are leaving in just 2 days to be with our kids for LIFE.  Every time I say it, write it, or think it, I am overwhelmed with a flurry of emotions and gratefulness.  We are so thrilled and yet still in disbelief that this journey wrought with waiting is coming to completion and that we get to start our new journey as a family. This waiting began for us over two and a half years ago when we signed the dotted line to begin our adoption.  But really it began in my heart over 17 years ago.  We serve an awesome God who is always in the business of teaching us, growing us, and using every moment…even the longest WAIT for a grand purpose.

This school year as I set out on a new adventure in junior high I shared my love of adoption and why I would be out for a bit with my students. I told them that I was their age when I knew I wanted to adopt for the first time.  This week, as I read their beginning of the year letters, one caught my eye and heart.  A young girl wrote of how she too heard about adoption recently and never though it was possible.  She wanted to do big things with her life but wasn’t sure she could do that or know that at her age, until we spoke in class.  I wept reading her letter.  I was her age when God first told me to adopt.  I was her age when I felt that same way.  It was one of those life in full circle moments.  God has used our waiting.  We have met people, shared stories, and deepened relationships that we never could have without it.

Throughout these past two and a half years we have been so grateful to the many friends and family members that have literally walked right beside us.  You have prayed with us, sat with us, cried with us, rejoiced with us, and made our story a  part fo your story and even your dinnertime conversations.  We are blessed to say the least.  Your prayers moved God’s heart and calmed ours on so many occasions.  Thank you seems so simple because if we could think of greater words we would be throwing them out daily to you.

We are so grateful for all that is ahead of us.  We know that the journey of parenthood will hold struggles, joy, excitement, and frustration…. but man are we ready to embrace all of it.  It is my prayer though that we never forget this waiting period.  That we hold close all it brought ot us and taught to us.

We love you friend and family.  From the deepest parts of our hearts’…THANK YOU!!!!


jumping off

 

AND WE’RE OFF! We have official confirmation from the US Embassy in Addis that we have our final Embassy interview and pickup date! It’s Thursday the 29th! Meaning we are leaving Monday, routing through Dubai, arriving Wednesday…then off again on Saturday, home by Sunday, children in hand!

So now we’re packing like mad and doing all of our final preparation for travel and to make sure the house is ready to bring two boys home! We are booking last minute tickets, finalizing travel arrangements, getting time off of work…BUSY WEEK!

Please pray for us as we make all of our travel arrangements and that we get to Ethiopia safely, especially with all the global turmoil we have going on right now. Pray that our Embassy interview goes well (which is more of a formality right now), and then for us as a family as we have a terribly long journey home (a one and a three year old on a 15 hour international flight? yikes!).

More updates to come! Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

-Dave & Mica


Bros

IT’S ALMOST GO TIME PEOPLE! Thank you all so much for following our journey thus far…we can’t thank you all enough for your thoughts and prayers, and for those of you who were so generous to be part of our fundraising! We are really almost there.

We received word from the US Embassy yesterday that the interviews and background checks are done and that we can expect an e-mail from the Embassy AT ANY TIME! So we were praying for today, but that didn’t happen. But it could be anytime next week! From there, we will get a pick up day for them! It could be the next week, or a couple after that. It depends what is available.  But it’s going to be SOON!

So please pray we hear from the Embassy soon, and we can get a favorable pick up day! We are going to be packing and doing the final preparations like crazy! We can’t wait to bring them home!

-Dave & Mica


 

Happy One Year Birthday to Levi! He is celebrating one year (not doing much since Ethiopian culture doesn’t really emphasize birthdays) in the orphanage. We are very happy he seems to be doing well and still happy and growing at the orphanage! But our hearts do break knowing that he’s not celebrating one year old with us.  Please pray with us that the US Embassy will give us the final approval and a pick up date so we can bring our boys home!


IMG_0426 Notes 9.10.12

Our kids get to grow up in the most culturally diverse family I know…They get American culture, Chinese culture, and Ethiopian culture. I visited my grandmother last weekend and she told us their names in Cantonese and also wrote out their names in Chinese characters (shown above – next to bamboo drawings she made) (She’s really good at calligraphy).  While we were in Ethiopia we went to a Korean restaurant, and Asher grabbed a pair of chop sticks (having never seen them before in his life) as soon as he saw me doing it and started eating with them.  I loved it; I just thought, “Yup, that’s my boy.”

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Asher Tan= American Name

Gebretsadik = Amharic Name

Chun A’chi = Cantonese Name

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Levi Tan = American Name

Mezekr = Amharic Name

Chun Lee Mae =Cantonese Name

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I just think that’s so amazing.  Asher and Levi will doubtlessly be confused at times, but I hope and pray the ability to draw from so many cultures will be a blessing, rather than a curse overall. I think it’s pretty awesome.  Without a doubt there will be struggles, identity issues, and confusion, but oh boy, will they ever be unique!  Imagine what perspectives and point of views they will have as adults.  Plus, I am enjoying trail blazing multicultural/multi-ethnic families. It’s a cool little mini-picture of the Kingdom of God in our family 🙂
 -Dave

Asher Levi??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

So our friends in Ethiopia got to visit Asher and Levi earlier this week, and sent us some pictures ! It makes our hearts happy to see that they are still doing well in the orphanage!

In other news we are entering the final stages of our adoption! With much prayer, we hope to have them home soon! Our adoption case has been submitted to the US Embassy for final investigation and final approval! Ethiopia and our adoption agency are done with all the paperwork; now it’s in the US Embassy’s hand.

We are hoping for a message from the US Embassy in the next few days to confirm our case is under review. There should not be any irregularities or suspicions or errors so we are praying hard it goes through without a hitch! After the US Embassy is done reviewing/investigating, we will get the approval to go pick them up and bring them home!!

We hope to hear from the US Embassy in 2 to 4 weeks to give us a travel date to go pick our boys up!

We will update you as we find out!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and your support through this process!

-Dave & Mica



Waiting room

 

The most common question we have been asked and ask ourselves since our return is, “How are you doing with you here and your kids there?” This question fills my mind daily and the answer changes just about as frequently. We have been so grateful for friends and family that have truly and frequently taken the time to pray with and for us, lend an ear, let me cry on their shoulder, and simply just asked us “HOW ARE YOU?” That has meant more to me than words could express. For me this process…this waiting has taught me a lot already.

When I think about the fact that as children of Christ we have been adopted, we rarely talk about, think about, or even process how that must be for God to WAIT for us to come to him in our lives. Whether we are 5, 10, 20, or 50 when we approach God and allow HIM into our lives, he waits for us. He created us, loved us before we we’re born, and desires to adopt us from the very beginning but even the creator of the universe waits for us. True LOVE waits. And through this process I have truly seen how it is the waiting that in the oddest way makes adoption have this very unique beauty woven into its story. I have learned in my life we only wait on things that really matter to us. We only are willing to go through the wringer for something that has great value. We only adopt something as our own when we truly see life existing with it. God waits for us so it should be no surprise to me that we would wait for these boys.

In this waiting I have cried, prayed, smiled, and yearned for these boys more than ever before. In the 17 years I waited just to meet them God prepared me for that first encounter. No words could describe the moment we met except to say God’s hand was in that first encounter. Joy was abundant and peace like I have never known. It is this memory, so fresh in my head and in pictures, that gives me courage and encouragement to know that this next encounter….after more waiting, refinement, and growth in love and depth of love, will be all the more glorious.

I sat last night curled in a ball with Dave’s arms around me weeping. My favorite song “Be Still” by The Fray played on my phone and very much was God’s loving voice singing straight to my heart. I love these boys. I love them so much it hurts. And as sad as that sounds to write itis beautiful. How beautiful that we can love something so deeply. How beautiful that I get to have these boys as a gift from the very one who adopted me and taught me how to love… and now I get to give the same thing back to two beautiful creations. And in this time all I have and know is to be still with God and embrace every moment of HIS comfort and love.

Thank you friends and family for journeying with us. I am sure I will need many distractions, shoulders, ears, and tissues…We NEED you and we appreciate you! Know that as hard as this journey is I am so grateful for this gift in its entirety….because all of this…..ALL OF IT (even the waiting) led me to them. That is beautiful.

Below are these beautiful Lyrics of encouragement that I mentioned above. I hope they resonate with each of you in your own way as well!

Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know that I am here
Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still, be still, and know

When darkness comes upon you
And colors you with fear and shame
Be still and know that I’m with you
And I will say your name

If terror falls upon your bed
And sleep no longer comes
Remember all the words I said
Be still, be still, and know

And when you go through the valley
And the shadow comes down from the hill
If morning never comes to be
Be still, be still, be still

If you forget the way to go
And lose where you came from
If no one is standing beside you
Be still and know I am

Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know I am