In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ethiopia - Day Two with Brooke

We started our day with a meal here - gorgeous.

On the second day with Brooke and the other kids at the orphanage, we pulled out the things we packed. First, we brought drawing paper and crayons. I thought that once the kids got bored with drawing, we would make paper airplanes to fly. They never got bored - I think we colored for two hours. They lovingly dedicated most of the pictures back to us.  

 We praised their creativity; it's so good to see their delight. Look at that smile! 

 If I could select a #13 child for our family - it would be Hana. We all bonded with Hana last year, and while we wanted to see her, we desperately hoped that she wouldn't still be at the orphanage this year. She is still there; she is one of the children that are stuck, in spite of no family, due to the parameters of the law. She has lived most of her life at the orphanage while her mother is out of the country. Her mother isn't willing to raise her nor sign for her to be adopted, so she is destined to grow up without a family. It is really heart-breaking, for her and the other two million like her!

 After drawing, we jumped rope and played soccer. The kids loved looking at pictures taken during the fun activities.

 We did get down to business and had a meeting about moving Brooke's adoption along. JD is smart in being hesitant about sharing our adoption challenges in Blogland, because Ethiopia is so strict about information and pictures. So without all the details, we think we have a way forward. I am not sure it would have happened if I hadn't been there in person. While they care deeply for the children, there are so many that have cases that move, that it isn't natural to pull yourself away to work on a super challenging case. There are allowances in the law that help Brooke, but since they aren't standard operating procedures, they had not been pursued until now. I hope to hear in the next few weeks that we are submitted to court. 

When we began Brooke's adoption, we hoped she was a simple one trip adoption and we would only have to travel for embassy. Since it's been so long since Bella went through court, we now have to travel two more times. Since I just returned, Brooke turned from a one to a three trip adoption. It's all good; God has a purpose!

Brooke is in the orphanage that Bella lived in from newborn to two years old. They all adored her and the director dug out this picture to show me. When you adopt children that have no baby pictures and little history, one baby picture is priceless!

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