We returned from Ethiopia yesterday and we have tons to tell, but before we go into the details of the trip, we wanted to share how God has worked for and on us during this trip. As many of you know, we are in a hectic season of life right now: moving, changing jobs, traveling for adoption, etc… Often, we have found ourselves planning and arranging the many moving pieces with the idea that through sheer force of will & hard work we could corral the chaos. Still, it has felt like we have been standing at the base of tidal wave waiting for it to crash down upon us.
However, God ignored our perfectly laid plans this past week and reminded us how His timing and his provision is beyond anything we could create. Despite our last minute planning, He put us in the Family Morning Coffee Guest House for our stay in Ethiopia. The guest house is run by an amazing lady named Birtukan, a previous World Vision sponsor child and current women’s ministry organizer. A beautiful spirit that provided us much needed physical and spiritual renewal.
Then, when we went to visit Solomon Edilu for the first time, God turned the rules and our plans upside down again. We were instructed to not take pictures and that our visit would only be a couple of hours. We had all kinds of schemes in mind to change that, but the director approached Riley and willingly offered to let us stay for almost 5 full hours and even arranged for us to have some pictures of Solomon (not allowed to post pics of him yet). Riley and the director, Huddush, hit it off and Huddush was able to provide us with some great, previously unknown details about Solomon’s story. We couldn’t have hoped for more from our visit.
And Solomon himself… what words can we use? He is perfect. His loving nannies described him as “peaceful” and “happy” and we agree. He was a little unsure of us at first (we probably look/smell/sound different that everyone else he knows) but he warmed up to us quickly. He is quiet but content. He can sit up but is still a little tippy. He has one little tooth and loves to put things in his mouth. No crawling yet, but he is starting to push up with his arms. His ‘fro is gone, replaced with a little buzz cut. We got to feed him and he even fell asleep in Riley’s arms. Peaceful and sweet.
The court date, the reason we were required to travel, was actually anti-climatic. Our agency lawyer was extremely professional and had us fully prepared. We only answered a handful of yes/no questions with the judge and the entire proceeding lasted little more than two minutes. Solomon’s case is complete pending a letter from the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs, which we expect to see in the next couple weeks. Once everything is together, the judge gives her final approval and that essentially ends the contentious portion of the process. We will still need US Embassy approval but that is largely a formality once the Ethiopian courts have approved the case. We are praying for a return date within the next two months, at which time we will collect Solomon’s birth certificate, passport and visa and then bring him home.
We want to thank all of you for your support thus far. From prayers to donations for the orphanage to taking care of our children (Gpa and Gma Mott we LOVE YOU!), you have all blessed us with your participation in our journey. We still covet your prayers as this process nears completion. Additionally, we will try to bring even more donations on the next trip so things like diapers of all sizes, wipes, bed sheets (queen and crib size), formula and children’s clothing would all be blessings for the orphanage.
So tomorrow we head/move to West Point, kids and all, to start the next chapter. We are blessed to have friends like Sean and Meghan there that have really helped with that transition. We can’t wait to RELAX with them and other NY friends and family in the near future.
Riley and Michelle