Yep, if you had told me a year ago that we would be considering adopting from Ethiopia right now I would have seriously LAUGHED YOU OUT OF THE ROOM.
But, here I am. Honestly, not even sure I have the right words.
In a nutshell, this is what is happening. Jonathan's heart has been burdened for Ethiopia for quite some time. He had mentioned several times that he wanted to adopt from Ethiopia and I would always do the "la la la, I don't hear you" comment. Then, I began praying that I would be submissive to my husband. He IS the spiritual head of our household and I knew his heart and relationship with the Lord was ALL GOOD! Still, after finalizing Mary Elizabeth's adoption, I no more felt led to adopt from Ethiopia than I did to go for a friendly jog (yeah, that ain't happening) We requested the packet from Bethany to pursue our second domestic adoption and yet, once it arrived, I noticed I did not have the same desire to HURRY UP and get it done like I did when it arrived for Mary Elizabeth. I blamed that lack of desire on the fact that I am struggling with migraines, that we don't have our money saved, that M.E. isn't old enough yet, and though honestly, none of those are the real reasons. You see, anyone that has known me for more than a millisecond knows that regardless of circumstance, once I get my mind set on something, I'm doing it.
So, without telling Jonathan, I went online a couple of weeks ago and filled out a preliminary application for international adoption through Bethany. I just wanted to see what countries we would be eligible for IF the day ever came that we decided to pursue an international adoption. When I got the response back that we were ONLY eligible for Ethiopia, I about fell off my chair. With that eligibility, I was also able to see waiting children in Africa and that is where I saw the most beautiful little face waiting for a family.
Again, though, I would not be swayed. How could we leave four kids and travel to Ethiopia for a week? How could we afford an international adoption when we weren't even sure we could afford a domestic adoption?
Thursday night was Bethany's New Friends Dinner. This is our agencies one time a year fundraiser. Jonathan and I hosted a table and as the speakers began speaking and I noticed that Chris, our international social worker from our office, was going to be speaking about waiting international children, I immediately felt that feeling I felt when I saw that beautiful little face the first time. Sure enough, as she flashed that picture on the screen and talked about how this child was looking for HIS forever family, I was officially sobbing. I knew without a shout of a doubt he was supposed to be our son.
So after the dinner, we made our way to Chris and told her we thought we were supposed to be his parents. Today, we officially told Bethany in Michigan (the main office) that we wish to pursue adopting this sweet little boy in Ethiopia. God has changed my heart and our circumstance.
So I am excited, scared, and blessed to share with you that you can begin praying for a little boy to join our family. His name is Ben (the name we had already picked out for our family). His full name will be Benjamin Tucker (Tucker after my great grandpa-did you catch that crazy aunt Jane?) He is 5 years old and is all alone in Ethiopia.
We don't know much about the process yet, except that the paperwork is INSANE and that the process will probably take about 10-12 months before he is home. He may be picked by another family before we get approved, but we are trusting that if this happens it is God's will and the praise will be that Ben will have a home.
We told the kids tonight. Luke and Isaac jumped around like crazy boys, Anna said "oh great" to another brother (although she is REALLY excited), and Mary Elizabeth said "DAH!" which we think means she is really jacked up.
So, please pray for us. It looks like the cost will be about $25K. We know we will get a $5K grant and we have $8K saved already for this adoption, so we are definitely going to be doing some letter writing for more grants and some more fundraising.
THANKS if you have read this far! Sorry I don't have a picture..I can't post it but trust me, he's a cutie! We covet your prayers and are thankful for your support!