Walking in Faith, Waiting with Hope

So now that we’re home and all our bags are unpacked, I wanted to give you an update on where we are in our plans to bring our baby girl home from Ethiopia.For those of you who are new to my blog, our family has been in the process of adopting a daughter from Ethiopia for the past year and a half. We originally thought we’d adopt a girl or two between 4-8 years old. But we got a referral for a 7 mo old baby girl who’s name is Aster two weeks ago and God has confirmed again and again that she is ours!

Aster was born in December 2008 and was orphaned by her mother in late April 2009. Her paperwork explains that her father abandoned Aster and her mother after her birth. When her mother could not sustain her with mild due to her very extreme poverty and her own malnourishment she brought Aster to someone who knew about the orphanage we are working with in Addis.She weighed 8lbs at 6 months old when she was brought to the orphanage May 1st. In the month she has been there she has doubled her weight, grown 2 inches in length and is thriving.

We aren’t sure how long it will be before she comes home. The courts in Ethiopia close in August and September.Ourprayer is that Aster’s paperwork gets approved in court before the end of July.

We’re also praying the Embassy will have our Visa’s approved in August so we can travel to get her in August or September. Otherwhise, if she does not get approved in court in July before they close for the summer, her adoption would not even be considered until October which means we would not travel to get her until late this year. That makes my heart sad just to write that.

So, we wait with hope that God’s timing and plans are perfect.

There are several factors that could delay things. First and foremost, Ethiopia is having many power outages which shuts down the courts and Embassy. Some friends who live there told us that the power has been going off every other day from 5-15 hours at a time. They recently had a stretch of 35 hours in a row without power. In Addis, they currently lose power for 18 hours every other day which means all the factories and offices have to close.

Getting Aster through court in July will be a total God-thing. But we know He is able!

Why the power outages? Because there is a water shortage, with distribution to only sections of the city at a time. Ethiopia uses almost exclusively hydroelectric power. The power and the water problems are caused by a cumulative lack of rain. The rains last spring, last summer and now this spring have all been either shorter or much, much lighter than normal (it almost never rains any other time of the year) and so the country could be heading for a big crisis.

This is devastating for the Ethiopians who are beginning to experience famine conditions in many parts of the country. Coupled with the world wide financial crisis and food price hikes โ€“ it is an extremely difficult time for many there.

Please pray for water. They are going into the rainy season now so we’re asking God to pour down lots of rain over their country in these next few months and that it would come in just the right amounts at just the right time as not to cause flooding.

Bringing home a baby is going to be a huge change for us and we are very excited yet nervous about it all. I am praying through all the things I do and asking God to provide wisdom and balance to know what I need to delegate and what He would have me keep. I will keep writing and speaking, but my role at P31 will need to be adjusted some and we’re just asking Him to show us what that looks like.

I treasure your prayers, your friendship and your excitement about our journey! We are walking in faith, and waiting with hope!

Isaiah 49:23, “Then you will know that I am the LORD. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpringโ€™s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, โ€œEveryday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. sooooo Excited for you and your family….my heart is for adoption….kids who need God loving and God fearing parents!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Shannon

  2. I am so happy for you & your family. I will pray lift you up in my prayers.

  3. Renee,
    I will continue to pray for you, your family and new little girl. I'm sure there is more to this journey than you even know…looking forward to what God does next. Your words about waiting remind of the the new song, "While I Wait."
    Prayers,
    Jill

  4. Thanks for the update and all the information.
    I am so happy for you!! I will continue to pray for things to work in His time.
    Prayers and hugs to you!!

  5. Oh girl– who knew we'd have daughters in Ethiopia at the same time. Seriously, doesn't that just blow your mind?

    Red and yellow, black and white- they are precious in His sight.

    Praying for both of our girls.

  6. I will try to remember to keep you and your family in my prayers as you move through this period of waiting.
    Blessings,
    Ann

  7. Wow…just can't wait to see what God does here! Praying your baby girl home!

  8. It has always been a desire of mine to adopt a little boy from Sudan! God has not brought that to fruitation yet, but maybe one day.

    I'm excited for you and your family and for little Aster. What a loving and wonderful family God is placing her in!

  9. Oh, Renee, it is so awesome to see how God continues to work in the big, small and really, really big things in your life. God's timing and plans truly are so perfect…and so beyond us! I'm excited to hear how all of the details unfold and to hear the testimony you will share of it later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Praying for you, too. I have another friend who is waiting to go get her little girl from China, but found out that their agency is CLOSING this fall because of the economy! :o( Eeek! Everything in HIS time.

    Julie

  11. Lisa V. says:

    Renee, Popped over here hoping to get an update on the adoption. Wow, so close! Not close enough I'm sure. I do hope you can have your girl in your arms before summer's end. Can't wait to see a picture of the little angel.

  12. I love Lysa's comment. ๐Ÿ™‚ BOTH of you have daughters in Ethiopia write now. (You even have her daughter's name in your title.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I cannot tell you how full this makes my heart feel. To see what God is doing and knowing that it is going to be a blessing that stretches out soooooo far. A blessing for little Aster. A blessing for you…for your husband…for your boys…for every life that will be touched by Aster as she grows. We see tiny snapshots, but God sees it all. Oh, how beautiful the picture must be that He is looking at. And what joy that you will get to see the picture that is her life unfold, intertwined now with your picture.

    Love to you! Praying!
    Kimberly

  13. Walking in faith is totally pleasing to your Father! He is true to His Word and His plans will unfold in ways that astound you and bring glory to His name!

  14. Praying for you and your baby girl Renee. I hope when I see you at She Speaks I can hug you and tell you congrats that the courts were able to get things approved! (I'm a hugger so I'll hug you anyway but it would be so awesome if it was for the news you want to hear!)

  15. Walking in Faith…Waiting with Hope. What a great word and challenge.

    Whenever I feel the unknown of the upcoming move weighing down on me, I will remind myself to "walk in faith…wait with hope."

    Continuous prayers for you and your family…

  16. I am praying, Renee! I just did, actually. And I will keep it up!

    WOW! How amazing that you guys are adopting Aster!

    Have a wonderful rest of the week!

    Inspired,
    Kate ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Kimberly, I loved Lysa's comment too and the really neat thing is that I am waiting "with Hope" TerKeurst to see if she will get to meet Aster tomorrow. She is scheduled to take a tour of the orphanage where Aster is and might even get to hold her and take photos. My heart is about to pop!!!

  18. Thanks for this update, Renee. SO many different things affect this whole adoption process–I had no idea. I appreciate you sharing details so I can pray specifically.

    And…GO GOD! Amazing that Lysa's girl might hold yours. Utterly amazing.

    ~Praying~

  19. I'm praying for rain!!!!! I even can't image having to wait until December to meet Aster. I'm praying that Hope will be able to make it to the orphanage and take photos with her. That would be so awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Did Hope get to see Aster? How exciting! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca

  21. Oh Renee from one momma heart to another live in the excitement and anticipation…allow our Jesus to hold your hand every step of the way. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us…its such a treat to be a part of this experience with you. Know that you, your family and your sweet baby girl are covered in prayer!

  22. Congratulations, Renee (and to your family too!) Isn't it amazing the way God works? We are just finishing our paperwork for our 7 year old Ethiopian son. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for all you shared about Ethiopia. Somehow I didn't know half of what you shared about electricity and water. Wow. Definitely puts everything into perspective, doesn't it?

    Praying we both travel before the courts close – although hopefully they decide to stay open as I've heard rumor.

    Sweet blessings & JOY,
    Amy

  23. Renee, wow! What an update! Both Kimberly and Lysa's comments have so touched my heart! I will keep baby Aster and the courts and the rain in my prayers. Let us know if Hope gets to see and hold Aster!!

    Love to you!
    Susan

  24. I don't know about the rain, but God CAN DO ANYTHING!!!

    So many times I've seen God work outside the bounds of circumstances that are negative! He is God!!!!
    Bless you with perfect patience at this time!!!!
    Nothing can stop His perfect plans.
    God bless you at this time.

  25. Oh my sweet friend. So glad God sent me here today! I'm excited that things are progressing, and pray that everything will just fall into place in God's perfect timing. What a sweet family God is gifting Aster with!

    Can't wait to hear more. Hugs!

  26. Renee, so thrilled to be adding this precious little girls name to your family as I pray for you all. I know the Lord can do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask or imagine.

    "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6

    "Due time". Not usually "our time", but it's always perfect. There's a lot we learn in the waiting of the "due time". May the Lord be preparing you all as you wait in faith and hope with and on Him.

    Hugs,
    Joy

  27. Hi Renee,
    I have not visited your blog in a while, but I remember the heartbreak you wrote of when the sisters you thought were yours were going elsewhere. I am so thrilled to read of this little flower waiting for you. I will be praying with you and for you. I am also attending She Speaks and maybe I will get to give you a big hug in person!

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