He's Home

>> Monday, August 8, 2011

I forgot to blog it but Gus came home…actually he’s been home for 6 weeks now. Things got a little hectic and Gus just immediately became part of the family. We were thinking about the whole process just the other day. There were all those months of praying and crying and working to get him home. Now he sleeps in his crib and eats at our table. In the end we have a new baby in the house.

I’ll mention the trip home. Traveling 28 hours with a baby and then arriving jetlagged was probably the thing I dreaded most about the whole process. We had to wait until 11 PM in Ethiopia to even board our plane to Frankfurt. I had prayed a lot for patience. I’d say it went better than expected. He slept almost the whole way to Germany. In Frankfurt we had about 4 hours during which we drank coffee and ate sausage (seems like what one does in Germany). The flight from Frankfurt to Washington D.C. just seemed long. He did as well as can be expected. We had a very nice couple in front of us who were traveling home from their court trip. They didn’t mind the extra screaming. Gus screamed too.

When we arrived at Dulles Gus became a US citizen upon arrival. He seemed happy to be able to crawl around in the airport. (Yeah, he crawls. We were surprised too. On our first afternoon together in the guest house we set down our little baby who could hardly sit and he took off crawling like a pro.) After another 2 hours at Dulles we left for Savannah. The weather was terrible and I seriously thought for a few minutes that we had come all this way only to die a flaming death somewhere near Statesboro, GA. But we made it to the ground. Gus, feeling like it was 3 in the morning slept through the whole thing. The Lord got us through it all.

We woke him up and introduced him to friends and family. That arrival was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a sense of accomplishment. It was great to finally introduce him to Lucy and Harry. They had prayed for him for so long! I’ll try to post some more thoughts on the process. I’d totally do it again but we definitely need some time to not be in the adoption process.


Almost There

>> Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is it possible that one week from today this process will be complete? If the schedule holds we’ll arrive in Savannah with little Gus sometime next Thursday evening. We leave tomorrow at 1 PM. I can hardly wait. This week has seemed to crawl at times.

Assuming we are on the verge of bringing Gus home I’d like to mention the one overwhelming constant throughout this experience: God’s faithfulness. He has provided exactly what we’ve needed at every step of the way and I’m not just talking about money. He has provided strength. He has provided support. He has moved us to do things that I didn’t think we could do. From the moment we said, “Let’s adopt from Ethiopia,” He has gone before us.

I hope to write more in the weeks ahead as Erika and I reflect on this process. But over and over again we have been amazed at God’s goodness to us in providing exactly what we needed exactly when we needed it. I hope as Gus becomes a part of our lives here in Savannah that he will be to us a constant reminder of that goodness. And my prayer is that little August David will grow up and live as an ongoing testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God for the rest of his life.


God is Great, God is Good

>> Wednesday, June 8, 2011

At this point in the process news comes on Wednesdays. At least it seems that way. Two weeks ago we found out that we would have been submitted to the embassy that day were it not for some missing paperwork. Last Wednesday we found out that we had in fact been submitted to the embassy. Today we found out that we have now been cleared by the embassy. All that we need now is an appointment at the American embassy in Addis so that we can bring Gus home. Here’s where things got messy.

You see, we bought tickets last Wednesday night to travel to Ethiopia tomorrow. Our plan was that we would clear today (which we did). Then, we would get an appointment for sometime early next week (which we didn’t). Turns out, the first available appointment is Monday, June 20th. That’s two days after the date marked on our ticket home. There will be a series of planes taking off tomorrow that would have eventually gotten us into Addis and we won’t be on them.

We’ll know tomorrow the date and time of our appointment and we’ll rebook our flights. But the main thing I want to say tonight is that I believe God is firmly in control of this situation. I believe that, even though things didn’t work out like we hoped, our loving Father in heaven is actively working out all of these events to accomplish His great and good purposes. This process has been fraught with wonderful success and devastating disappointments. I want to be careful that I’m not just expressing praise and thanksgiving to God when things go our way. Today things didn’t, which led to some tough decisions and frustrated plans. But God still deserves to be praised.

The forces of darkness did not thwart God’s plan. I believe Satan hates children and adoption but I do not believe for a moment that he has ever gained the upper hand in the course of this adoption. No matter what happens we know that God is great and God is good and that He will be glorified even if we don’t understand.


What happened yesterday?

>> Thursday, May 26, 2011

“We should hear something on Wednesday.” That had been my response since last Wednesday to the question, “When are you going to get Gus?” We’re currently waiting to be submitted to the US embassy. The embassy only accepts adoption paperwork on Wednesdays and we had good reason to believe that it would happen yesterday…and it almost did.

Turns out, everything was ready. Gus even has his own little passport. (Well, it’s not truly a little passport, as in, a smaller passport. I suppose that in this context little is a synonym for cuter. My passport on the other hand is neither little nor cute.) But when they got ready to submit they were missing a document and some photocopies. Ugh! AWAA called us and we sent the missing paperwork FedEx international priority mail to Addis. It should be there Monday and then my guess is that we will be a go for next Wednesday.

I truly think we’re weeks away from bringing him home. Do continue to pray that we can clear these last hurdles. And pray that God will continue to provide the final funds necessary to finish the job. He has been so faithful in that regard.


So What's Next?

>> Monday, May 9, 2011

August David Cleland is officially and legally our son. The only problem is that we can't bring him into the US just yet. Over the next week or two our agency will be gathering the necessary documents for submission to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. Once those documents are submitted the embassy has 10 days to decide if they need any further investigation into his situation. Because he was abandoned we don't have much reason to suspect that they'll need to do anything. At that point he'll be issued a passport and a visa and then we can bring him home.

Because he has now been adopted he could be with us (in Ethiopia) at any time. It just occurred to me that there is an illustration here about our present state of adoption in Christ but I'll save that for another post. Every now and then the thought enters my mind that we should just go get him and wait there. We'll see. We do have two kids here at home to take care of.

It is absolutely thrilling to be at this point in the process. This has been a long ride and it's been hard at times. But the thought that we're weeks away from having him home with us makes it all worth it.


One Less Orphan

>> Friday, May 6, 2011

Finally! We received word this morning that August David Cleland is officially our son. We are so thankful to God and to all who have prayed. Soon he'll be submitted to the US Embassy so that we can obtain the papers needed to bring him to live here. I'll post more soon.


Trip #1 Complete

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The trip home from Ethiopia was bittersweet. It was absolutely thrilling to arrive home Saturday night and see Lucy and Harry run down the concourse to meet us. Thankfully no security guards tried to stop them as they sprinted past the waiting point. But our family isn’t complete as Gus still lives in a transition home half a world away. We’re waiting to receive word that the judge has received the documents she requested so that the adoption can be finalized. Then we can be submitted to the US embassy so that Gus can be cleared to come home.

I need to post some thoughts about our trip and will try to do so over the next couple of weeks. In many respects the trip simply couldn’t have gone better. Meeting and spending time with Gus was wonderful. We stayed healthy, our luggage traveled on the same schedule we did, and jet lag was of little consequence while we were there. Yebsabi Guest House, where we stayed, was very nice. And while I was never able to access this blog I was able to access the internet most of the time.

In the days ahead please continue to pray with us that God, in His providence, will direct the many intricate little variables that need to fall into place so that we can finish this up. We haven't passed court yet but we're praying we will soon. Also please join us in praying that we will be able to raise the last little bit we need to make one final trip. The reserves are getting low but God has always provided us with just what we need right when we need it. Things would have to go very smoothly but it is not out of the question that we would have Gus home by Memorial Day. This certainly isn’t impossible with God.


Day 1: Travel

>> Friday, April 15, 2011

I don't know if we'll be able to blog from Ethiopia or not so I'm going to seize the moment and catch you up on our trip so far. We're in Charlotte, sitting in rocking chairs and watching the planes take off. After a short 48 minute trip from Savannah we have our first layover: 4 hours. For our last American meal we chose CPK express. I've had worse at the airport and better at CPK.

The parting from our children was far less dramatic than I expected. Lucy chose pancakes with Grammy and Harry over a trip to the airport. Who can blame her really?

Up next we have 9 hours to Frankfurt followed by another 6 hour layover. I've been reading Robinson Crusoe which is quite good so far. Erika's reading another Randy Alcorn novel. I think that's all I've got for now.


Here We Go

>> Thursday, April 14, 2011

We leave for Ethiopia tomorrow morning at 11. International travel is overwhelming for many reasons, not the least of which is the length of the flight. I don’t really sleep on planes so I’ll probably arrive in Ethiopia Saturday evening ready to go to bed. We’re flying into Addis Ababa which is the capital city of Ethiopia. That’s where we will be spending all of our time.

Sunday, April 17th, will be Easter in Ethiopia (we get two Easters this year!). We hope to get to go to church in the morning and then to see Gus for the first time that afternoon. I just can’t imagine what that will be like. We spend the week visiting Gus and then seeing some of the sights in Addis. Then, on Thursday, we go to court. Pray that the judge will pass us on the first try. This will help the process to go much more smoothly. If we don’t pass we don’t have to appear before the judge again but it would definitely slow things down.

We head for home late Friday night. If all goes well we’ll go back to Ethiopia in 4-6 weeks to finally bring Gus home. Lord willing, we will worship with our home church on Easter morning. Speaking of our home church, we have been overwhelmed by their kindness. We’re headed for Ethiopia loaded with stuff for the children.



>> Friday, March 18, 2011

I’m so happy to finally post some good news. We got our court date: April 21st! Thanks to all of those who prayed. I’m sorry not to have posted the good news sooner. We found out last Friday while I was in California. This week has been a flurry of jet lag and travel planning. We fly out April 15th and will get to spend a few days with Gus before the court date. Can’t wait.

Please keep praying. Pray that we will pass court on the first try. Pray that Harry stays well while we’re gone. Pray that we’ll be able to raise the last of the funds needed to complete this process. We’re so thankful that we had more than enough to purchase tickets and provide for our in-country expenses.


About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Sunset by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP