Wednesday, May 30, 2012


We celebrated our last night in Ethiopia with cake and caramel macchiatos from Kaldi's. Simply amazing!!!

Tomorrow afternoon we will say "see you later" to our sweet boy and go to court.  This will all be taking place between (approximately) 5am-9am EST (12-4ish Ethiopian time). We would LOVE to be covered with prayers, especially during these emotion-filled, anxiety-provoking hours.  We don't know if our paperwork will be there, but we pray that our hearts may be at peace. Please pray for Moses, too.  He has watched so many families and friends come and go in the last six months.  People have asked if he recognizes us...and he definitely does.  When we stepped out during his lunch today it provoked huge alligator tears.  He wanted his "mommy" and "daddy".  It's heartbreaking to think of leaving him tomorrow for an indefinite amount of time. Please pray for his tender heart. May he remember us, our love for him and may God reunite us soon.

We will be leaving for home around 3pm EST.  We are so grateful for your support and prayers.  They are being felt halfway around the world...

 Much love, friends.
grace & peace,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

prayers for court.

Ethiopia is amazing.  Moses is INCREDIBLE. His smile lights up the room and our days have been filled with sweet laughter.  I can't wait to write more when we're home, but I wanted to quickly post for all our faithful prayer warriors.   Our federal approval letter from the women's ministry here in Ethiopia has yet to be signed.  It needs to be there on Thursday (our court date was changed from Tuesday) in order for us to pass court.  It's a holiday here tomorrow and celebrations continue well into the week (which means it will take a miracle for this to be accomplished).  Will you join us in praying for that miracle? We're so ready to have Moses home.  God has been gracious to us and although we were not able to see Moses today (the transition home is not open to families on Sunday) we had an incredible day spent with one of my professor's from Calvin and her family.  We went to church (my heart so needed that), we had lunch together, and we spent time loving on the children at the government run boy's orphanage.  I hope to write more about that later...once my heart can digest all our eyes just saw.

Thank you for the prayers, support and love.
We're forever grateful.

In Him,

Monday, May 21, 2012

two more...

only TWO days until we leave.  my stomach fills with butterflies just typing those words.  life has been a crazy whirlwind of activity and we're so ready to go.

we're pleading for prayers.  will you join us in praying for the following things:

*for court.  may mountains be moved and all our paperwork be present.  may the judge find mercy on our case and on may 29, may we hear the sweet words...."he is yours".

*for moses and his tender heart.  may he know the depth of our love and commitment to him.  may he know there is something different about us.  may our time together be spent well, loving on him and the other children at the House of Hope.

*for health and energy (we arrive in Ethiopia at 7:45 in the morning of the 24th after a thirteen hour flight).

*traveling mercies

* we say goodbye.  may the memories of our time together and faith in God's perfect timing...carry us through until we meet again.

we have been blessed by your prayers, friendship, shoe donations! and love.  thank you for walking with us.

we hope to write again soon, with news of great joy.

with all our love and gratitude,
emily & james

Thursday, May 17, 2012

six days (and counting!)

We're in the homestretch, friends. SIX DAYS until we leave.  Tomorrow is my only day off from work before we go (which means our bags WILL be packed before we go to bed tomorrow night!)  Jim has 3 days of teaching left (and a mound of grad work).  Wednesday will be here before we know it (Praise God). We're ecstatic...and so ready to meet our boy. 
So, I'll leave you with this...a beautiful benediction that I stumbled upon today. May it touch you as it did me.  
grace & peace,

May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God's creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors who are poor.

A Franciscan Benediction

Monday, May 14, 2012

shoes, please.

We're leaving for Ethiopia in NINE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!
and we need your help!

The kiddos at the transition home M is staying at need SHOES.
So we're rallying around them and their sweet feet and looking for donations.

If you have new or gentle used shoes you would like to donate please let us know!
{they are especially in need of shoes for kids 5 and up}

We're forever grateful for the amazing care and abounding love M has received at The House of Hope.
However, he has been wearing HOT PINK CROCS for months.

We need to do something about this, asap.

much love, friends.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

heaven & a world away.

As I lie on M's bed writing this, tears fall down my face.  Nine months ago, God took you home.  Not a day goes by that I don't miss you, your gentle spirit, laughter, smile and quiet being.

I will be forever grateful for all you taught me during your time on earth.  You were an incredible example of a gracious wife and loving mother.  You prepared me well for this season of life and I could never thank you enough.

You taught me about faith, the importance of family and what really matters in this life.  Mom, you were an incredible example to me...both in your living and in your dying. For in those dark days, it was evident that God's hand was upon you.  There were so many holy moments, Mom and I will forever treasure those quiet times we had together.

Thank you for teaching me to enjoy and savor the simple and good things in life.  I'll never forget the smile that encompassed your face as you enjoyed your last cup of coffee, while in the company of dear, dear friends. Or, how you enjoyed your last meal...a Greek salad from Rose's.  Or, how good it felt to be HOME with the ones your heart loves.

Thank you for teaching me what it looks like to find complete peace in Jesus and trust in His perfect plan.  I'll always treasure the night you came home with hospice.  Remember how the family room was packed full of family and friends and we sang, "Amazing Grace" and "It is Well"?  You joined in singing too... and it was beautiful and heart wrenching and such a testimony to your faith.

Thank you, Mom for preparing me to be a mom for Moses...even before we knew of his existence.  Thank you for the way you supported our adoption with an overflowing amount of joy and love for the one God would place in our family.  I can't believe we're finally going to Ethiopia to meet our sweet boy.  He's incredible, Mom and selfishly I wish you were here to meet him and walk me through this new realm of motherhood.

Yet, my heart is at peace.  Today, the tears may be many...but, it's only because I love you and miss you so much.

Your legacy lives on and your faith continues to inspire.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
With all my love,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

we're leaving on a jet plane... thirteen days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

friends, we are ecstatic to announce that we have a court date!  we will be boarding a plane to meet our sweet babe in a matter of days!

we received the call yesterday.
our court date is scheduled for May 29. 

for one week we will love on our little guy.
we will shower him with affection and spend every minute possible engaged in his world.
we will immerse ourselves in a culture that we {already} love.

after six months of holding M's picture close to our hearts...we will get to hold HIM.

we cannot wait.

and at the very end of our trip, we will stand in front of the judge and pray from the depths of our hearts that every piece of paperwork will be accounted for, and we will hear the sweet, coveted words...

"he is yours".

Will you join us in praying the mountains may be moved and every document will be there?  Will you pray for M's heart...that God may prepare him for the road that lies ahead.  Will you pray that all the necessary travel arrangements and details may be worked out quickly?

*** and while you read this, will you stop and say a prayer for dear, dear friends of ours.  They went to court weeks and weeks ago and still are waiting for a document needed to pass court.

AND...just to clarify....Moses will not be coming home with us, yet.  It's a two trip process.

Praying the rest of our journey flies by!