Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer love

This summer has been cruising by. I can hardly believe August is just around the corner. It has been busy...like every summer. This summer has been extra special for me and this quote sums it up:
"And I have had time to carry my tired, oppressed heart to my compassionate Savior and to tell Him what I cannot utter to any human ear. How strange it is that when, through many years of leisure and strength, prayer was only a task, it is now my chief solace if I can only snatch time for it." - Stepping Heavenward by Mrs. E Prentiss

This summer I have been reading through the bible. I am almost finished with the old testament and cannot wait to jump into reading about my Savior's life on earth. I have been learning what it means to depend on him fully. All available moments have been spent reading My bible or on my knees. It has been a rich summer full of blessing.

Our dossier has made in to Ghana and we are awaiting a referral. I am excited but not anxious. I have no idea as to when to expect a referral but we are not planning any time soon.

I promise pictures with my next post.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dossier done

We finished our Dossier today. We were even able to send it via email to Ghana. Some families will be traveling to Ghana this month and hopefully they will hand deliver the originals. Some time in the next few weeks, Romana (the director of Beacon House) will take our dossier to the office of Social Welfare. I am assuming we will get an application at this time. (We have to apply to SW as well). This process is so far going "smoothly" but there are many areas of grey. The process is confusing and not as streamlined as Ethiopia. The lack of my blogging is largely due to the fact that I don't know exactly what is next. As Carrie put it, "Welcome to independent adoption!"

So what is next?
1.) Get re-fingerprinted for our immigration clearance to adoption from Ghana. i-171H
2.) What to hear from Romana regarding Social Welfare
3.) Get prepared for our fireworks fundraiser which will be in Bothell.
4.) PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! for our daughter, for her birth family, for the process, for SW to accept our family, for the finances, etc.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Passed another hurtle

We were officially approved to work with Beacon House on thursday. It was bitter sweet news. The way adoptions work in Ghana is that the Social Welfare for Ghana decides whether a family can adopt from Ghana or not. They also give out referrals. In Ethiopia the individual agencies (like AGCI, Gladney, etc) were responsible for referrals.

The news of our acceptance into the Beacon House program also had a statement regarding thepossibility of Social Welfare (within the Ghanaian government) denying us based on our family makeup. Especially the fact that our children are all young and that we have requested a young child (0-4yr). So given this info we have a few choices. We can move forward, completing our dossier, sending it to Ghana and then wait to hear whether Social Welfare will approve us or not. Or, we may be able to wait on completing our dossier and just send our homestudy to see if they will make a decision based on that. That is currently the avenue we are trying to take but the timing may not work out.

When I read this info my heart sunk. There is such a big part of me that wants this to be "easy". As if easy means God is behind it. Maybe it is just pride....that if Ghana denies us then we made the wrong choice, wrong country, wrong program, etc. Then I was reminded of a few things. A blog I love posted this recently which speaks to suffering within orphan care and adoption. That suffering is not equated with being out of God's will.

www.onethankfulmom.com (She links to a John Piper Sermon- What does it mean to live by faith in service to the Fatherless.)

I was also reminded that every adoption is difficult. Domestic, foster, international. All have the good, bad and ugly sided. Sometimes I feel that it is a full on spiritual World War 3. Then I have to remind myself that our journey to our daughter is about God placing an orphan within our family. It isn't about getting what we want, when we want, how we want. Everything about my flesh wants it the WAY I WANT IT!! I fight this everyday. Tonight as I sit in eager anticipation/hopelessness all in one, I repeat over and over "Not my will but yours. Not my will but yours. Not my will but yours.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Big Announcement-Part 2 (finally)



I have been waiting for the official "green light" for our adoption of Naomi to post the details. It seems that is taking "forever" so I will post anyway.

Andrew and I have applied to adopt from Ghana. We are hoping to do a private adoption with the assistance of Beacon house http://beaconhouseghana.org/ . The application process typically takes 3 weeks, however our volunteer adoption coordinator just brought home her newly adopted son from Ghana. It's been a little over 3 weeks. So we wait. Well in the meantime, we are busily getting everything else in order so we can move forward once (if?) we are officially accepted into their program.

Last Thursday we had our homestudy visit. We were blessed to use our previous social worker from AGCI. We absolutely ADORE her. We did Levi's 1 year post placement and our homestudy update at the same time. Beautiful!

We have our dossier 95% complete. Once we receive our new homestudy we will apply for an extension of our I-171H. When you adopt internationally you have to have permission from the USCIS to immigrate a child. We previously were approved for 2 children. Levi was one of them. Now we can ask for a free extension, free country change, and free re-fingerprinting for this adoption. Awesome! The word free is very uncommon in the adoption process.

Once we receive this wonderful piece of paper we will send our dossier to Ghana. Then more waiting as will wait for a match of a child. We have requested a girl 0-4yrs. The wait time in a bit unclear. Could be up to 6 months. The process in Ghana is less streamlined as compared to Ethiopia. There were over 2000 adoptions in Ethiopia to the US in 2009 and only 120 from Ghana. As far aw we can tell the adoption part in relatively easy but the visa and passports part is drama, drama, drama.

So there you go Part 2 is out. Hopefully we will receive our acceptance into their program and we will continue to move forward. If we don't...... not sure. More praying. More waiting on God.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Announcement-Part 1


We are adopting again! ........




Saturday, April 3, 2010

Waiting on God- Naomi

There has been a bit of purposeful silence on my part. I felt a few months ago that God really wanted me to be still and wait for him. I was suppose to be patient and listen. Then the waiting went to wrestling. After a period of intense emotional and spiritual battle I am experiencing joy and faith.
Waiting in so interesting. One day I looked up all the verses in the bible that referenced waiting on God. There were quite a few. The consistent theme was that there was joy in waiting on God. I HATE waiting. I am a do-er kind of person. I make a plan and then I execute the plan in the shortest time possible. At first I was annoyed. I wanted so badly to know, "are we or aren't we". I just wanted to know either way if God wanted us to start our next adoption. (side note:We were approved by immigration USCIS for 2 children. We adopted Levi and technically we are still able to adopt another. We are allowed one free extension until 12/2011, one free country change and one free fingerprinting. So we had to decide whether or not to use this or to let it lapse.) But day after day of calling out to God, listening and waiting I can say with confirmation that I am closer to God now than a few months ago. If that is my main priority in life, to be close to God, I should be ok with the waiting. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his God pleasure. "-Phil 2:12.

As for Andrew (I always hate to speak for him in case I misrepresent) but he is on this same journey. He has said many times to me the past few weeks..."the word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."- Psalm 119:105. He has been on my knees before the Lord, deep in scripture, waiting to be confirmed. In the past I might have stated particular information to try to sway Andrew's opinion. yes I can be persuasive. I have been so conscious not to do this. I want Andrew to receive confirmation from Lord because he is the head of our home. Ultimately he is responsible for what happens with our children and our finances. He has to be 100% sure that God has called us to Naomi right now. I don't want to be home with 4 kids and a bitter husband who felt I pushed him into it. I am totally content to wait. Like I said... waiting is the theme right now. Waiting on God. Waiting on my husband. "Fear not, Daniel (Andrew), for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words." -Daniel 10:12 (Andrew shared this verse with me yesterday that he felt God had given to him.)

We set a date for Easter to make a decision regarding whether to move forward to wait. That would be tomorrow. SO stay tuned for more info.

On other news, we received our FBI clearance yesterday. It was taking people about 12 weeks to get them but somehow ours came in 8 weeks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The family... all US citizens

It was actually weeks ago that Levi became a US citizen....but we got a new camera and I couldn't figure out how to post pics to the blog. Here is a recent picture of our family. All 5 of us US citizens.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Clarity

Neither go back in fear and misgivings to the past, nor in anxiety and forecasting to the future; but lie quiet under His hand, having no will but his.
-H.E. Manning

I have been meditating on this sentence the past few weeks. When my mind starts to buzz with questions, doubts and anxieties I am reminded of this. Lying under his hand, desiring nothing but God's will for me.

Today I had an awesome quiet time, full of desire for God's will. This time produced a peace that I haven't felt in days. I have been studying the book of John this year with BSF and have noticed a strong theme the past few weeks. Jesus states several times that if we ABIDE in Him, we Should ask and Should expect to receive. John also repeats this in 1 john.

John 14:14 "If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."
John 15:7 "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
John 16: 24 "Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
1 John 5:15 "And we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked him:"

For some odd reason, I don't ask. I ask for the little things. I teach my kids to ask. But something in my is afraid to ask for the big things. Afraid that if it doesn't go as I imagine I will be let down. I don't want to feel disappointed by God.

So today I prayed aloud a simple yet freeing prayer:

"Father, I ask that you give us a daughter.
I trust in your timing.
I trust in your provision.
I trust that you will guide Andrew and I to her."

There I asked.

God spoke to Andrew and I about a year ago that we would have another daughter. We have struggled with doubt in ourselves and in God's plan. We feel the pressure from doubts around us-From our coworkers to family members to church friends. We have heard your doubts and concerns. But today I chose not to listen and to remember that voice that so clearly has spoken to me about that orphan child. I Chose to ask for that promised gift.

now we will see. When and where and how is left to be discovered.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

coming out of silence

This has been my longest blogging break. There are many reasons: Shingles, Trip to New York, TB test positive for Levi, Starting his treatment, watching my BFF's kids 2-3 days a week, visiting friends, etc. All of these things have been taking up my time but maybe the biggest reason is for my inward struggle. My thought life is completely dominated by this question:

What is God's will for us? (specifically with Naomi). I struggle between radically living out the gospel and prudence and protection of what God has blessed us with.

I read this blog post today that was recommended by a friend. It summarizes some of my own thoughts. I hope you read it and really think about it.

Hopefully it won't be another month before I write again.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Another big week

The week started with a visit with a good Hannah's Hope buddy. Here is a picture of Levi and Abel. We traveled together and enjoyed many memorable moments together. It was fun to see how big the boys have grown.

Then Andrew and I got our FBI fingerprints done. The same lovely lady did ours last time as well. We are slowly getting stuff together for our homestudy update. We still haven't decided an agency for sure. We are hoping to adopt a 4 year old girl. We may not be able to do that because of the age difference between Emelia and Charlie is only 21 months. MOWA- in Ethiopia"requires" (according to gladney) a 1 year age gap between the adopted child and siblings. So if we get a big fat NO, we may go for another baby. Or wait awhile longer.

Then moments later we were at the car dealership purchasing our first car. That's correct. We have been married for 8 years and have never purchased a car. We got a 2006 8-passenger Toyota Sienna with very low miles. I love it! The kids love it!

The week wasn't completely all fun and giggles. Levi tested positive for TB so we get to take a little visit to Seattle Children's hospital. So not looking forward to this. Then Charlie developed Shingles. Didn't know a 2 year old could even get them. So my little man is wearing long sleeves and a glove on his one hand- all day. According to his pediatrician they cannot be transmitted if they are covered. So we ran around today with Charlie wearing one purple glove- then we bought some blue ones. In the past 24 hours I have spoken with the pediatric nurses 5 times.
What a crazy week!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

big day

Several great things happened today:

1.) Andrew and I got to spend 4 hours just the two of us!

2.) We received Levi's SSN in the mail! Can file those taxes now.

3.) The USCIS cashed our check for Levi's US citizenship. Hopefully that means he's official. After returning to the SSN office to change his citizen status we will be COMPLETELY done with paperwork!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4.) We decided the next car we hope to purchase: Toyota Sienna 8 passenger- will be needing those extra seats.

5.) We are 90% sure the agency and age we will be pursuing for Naomi. See what can happen in 4 hours.

THE BEST NEWS OF ALL:

5.) Our church approved our community group to start an ABBA fund (A no-interest adoption loan program) and granted us $10,000 to get it started!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Week in pictures


Levi is finally loving to cuddle.

Watch out... Levi is officially walking!


Sometimes it is like this:


But mostly like this:





Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Captivated

referral picture march 19,2009



When we first started our adoption of Levi I thought we will adopt him and be done. 3 kids seemed like "a lot" and "good enough". James 1:27- check! Then about half way through we both felt God telling us we would bring home a daughter some day (in addition to Levi). Really 4 kids? In our "little" 3 bedroom 1 bath house. So fast forward about a year. Levi had been home 6 months and Andrew and I are moving forward to raise funds for Naomi...details to be disclosed when final decisions are made. We are praying and seeking God's wisdom in all of this.
In our hearts something much bigger is happening. We have BOTH been completely captivated by God's calling on our lives to father(and mother) the fatherless. I have told people we will stop after Naomi. 4 sounds good. Not sure we can afford any more. Already living in organized chaos. But will we really be able to stop. NO.
Maybe we will be THAT family who ends up adopting 6+ kids. Maybe we will fundraise for other families hoping to adopt. Maybe we will move to Africa. I really do not know what God holds for us but I do know
We say: "YES"
God, if you ask we will obey. We will love and protect your children. We will defend and fight for orphans.

Living in God's calling is the BEST!! Nothing is sweeter. Nothing gives more joy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy BIRTHday Levi!


Thank you Mama T for laboring and bringing Levi into this world. Thank you for carrying him in these arms to my mine. I pray that your arms, now empty, would be filled with joy of knowing my love for our son.

LABOR OF MY HEART

I would have given anything
to be the one to know
the pain of bringing you into this world
but it
couldn’t be…

Though I did not bring you here
still I labored in my tears
through the long nights I prayed
you would come to me…

You are the labor of my heart Child,
you are the labor of my heart
with all my strength I prayed
till they laid you in my arms Child,
you are the labor of my heart…

Blessed be the maker
of bone of other bone.
He make flesh of my desire
and today I take you home…

You are the labor of my heart Child,
you are the labor of my heart
with all my strength I prayed
till they laid you in my arms Child,
you are the labor of my heart Child,
you are the labor of my heart…

--Author Unknown


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

left over Christmas cards?


We have decided to add to our family worship every day with prayer for other families. We collected all our Christmas cards and put them all together. The kids get to pick a family to pray for during our time. Today they picked Todd, Christine and Emily. Little Emily had surgery this week for a finger- door mishap.

If you have left over cards and want the Weiseths to be praying for you during 2010, please send us a photo or photo card to :
WineStyles- Andrew Weiseth
2283 Bothell Everett Hwy
Bothell, WA 98024

If you already sent us a card, consider yourself prayer for this year. We will be looking at your sweet pictures all year long.

Also, I led the music part of family worship today. I just learned to play guitar and have "mastered" a few songs. I love to sing out to God. Thank you Andrew for teaching me to play.