Tuesday, May 19, 2009
If we get a call in the morning saying we can go on to Ethiopia tomorrow afternoon we will:
1. be in a hurry to get ready and get out of the house
2. not be answering the phones or emails
3. will text close friends and family to say "we're out of here!"
4. will NOT post on this blog
5. WILL post throughout journey at: http://www.adoptingaria.blogspot.com
So, become a follower of the adoption blog and experience the journey with us!
If the phone call reveals that our paperwork is still not ready we will:
1. be in a hurry to go some place fun and just enjoy Libby and rest
2. not be answering the phones or email for at least one day
3. will text close friends and family to say, "we're home for a while, but oh well"
4. will NOT post on this blog
5. WILL post on other blog - but maybe not until we have fun and rest... we'll see.
Signing off for now....
Hopeful, Joyful, Expectant, In Labor (but not sure how long) -
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Our lives have been a whirlwind since God revealed to us the Ethiopian baby he has chosen for our family. In just 2 days we will have our first (and hopefully only) court date to determine if Aria Lu Foote will become legally ours. If we pass, we head to Ethiopia very soon. If we do not, we have to wait for a new court appointment and start this part of the process all over - more waiting. To say the least, we have been busy preparing our home and family for a very young and tiny baby girl and for a major international trip. The packing is WAY more than our average packing experience. It involves taking every medicine we could possibly need - and for us that means infant meds (for our baby), children's meds (for Libby) and adult meds for Billy and I. We also have to have certain shots before heading into Ethiopia (which we do on Monday) - including Maralia pills as well. We have to take a ton of diapers, wipes, baby clothes, blankets, toys to entertain Libby on the LONG flight over and back, donations for the transitional home (lots of formula!), gifts for the nannies and TH staff, donations to street kids (candy, balls, etc), copies of ALL the paperwork in the adoption process - and the list goes on. It's not the kind of packing you do just a day or two beforehand - especially when you have a 3 year old "helping" you pack! YIKES!
In the midst of all this preparation, other life things keep going and we have had to attend to those things as well. We are finishing up a new EP (a 5 song CD) to be released this summer with some of my personal favorite Billy Foote songs to date. We have been in the process of selling our old home (which was on the market for 10 months!) and have a closing date for the end of this month! YES! AND....... we have recently signed a co-publishing deal with a label called Centricity. Centricity has a new worship division called The Worship Collective and Billy is now writing for it! We are very excited about this new relationship and what God has in store for Billy's songs (old and new!).
Last week we traveled to Longview, TX where we had the wonderful opportunity to lead worship for Billy C Foote's 1000th revival! I call him BC. He is Billy's dad and is an awesome man of God. BC and Winky have traveled in evangelism for many many years and their 1000th. revival was greatly celebrated as it was a night of amazing testimonies and stories - giving all the glory to God. We should have some professional photos of that night Sunday night to share soon!
We spent the week with Billy's family and had a great time as God showed us all some spectacular things and molded our hearts together even more. And then!!! - BC was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree from East Texas Baptist University at the end of that week. We stayed in Longview for that exciting moment of watching BC accept this special degree. It was really cool thinking about all the years he has traveled and worked hard in his own community as well. He is such a merciful, kind, hard working man. No one deserves that Doctorate more than him. It was quite a moving ceremony!
Libby and Brooke (her cousin) had an incredible time catching up and playing. They played very well together - even better when we just let them do their thing and didn't try to interrupt. The two of them together = great entertainment!
Robbie and Wendy (Billy's brother-in-law and sister) are doing GREAT in their land development business and are currently building a new and BEAUTIFUL home. They both work so hard and with great integrity so it is a joy to see them have some special dreams fulfilled.
Once we traveled back home we jumped right back into serious packing lists and "nesting". I've cleaned out the garage and the playroom and I'm cleaning constantly! I just want everything in order when our baby girl comes home.
We've tucked in some great play times with Libby in the middle of all this. We've been to the pool twice this week. She is such a joy. She loves to tease and be silly. If she can make you laugh, she has fulfilled her own purpose in life! She continues to talk about Lu everyday and it seems that she is really looking forward to getting her baby sister.
Unfortunately, due to all the unknowns surrounding our travel to Ethiopia, we have had to cancel our beach trip with the Martine family. We were supposed to head back to the same location as last year so I could be a part of the 6 man marathon and just relax with friends. But it was impossible to know for sure that we could be there since there is a slight chance we could travel to ET earlier than we were originally thinking. If we pass court this week I will also be canceling my trip to Charleston. I was supposed to be in Charleston from May 20-27, but that would be cutting it WAY too close to travel time.... So, as you can see, we are in a holding pattern until after court and until tentative travel dates turn into firm ones. By the way - the day we pass court is the day we can share our daughter's picture and full story!! I can't wait to share her with all of you! She is just precious!
We are THRILLED about all God is doing. We have moments of complete exhaustion and I have definitely had to pull back from a lot of our work with the refugees for a while (which makes me really sad - often!) but we are pressing on knowing that God's timing and ways are perfect.
Enjoy the pictures!
And - to all of you praying over us and this adoption and our ministry.... I can't thank you enough! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
BC and Winky with Brooke and Libby - at the ETBU Graduation Ceremony
Dr. Foote and Billy
BC with his granddaughters!
Brooke, Cindy and Libby
Beautiful Wendy and Robbie (a.k.a. Barbie and Ken)
The Tompkins family with Libby
Papa Boots, Brooke, The Libster and Grammy (a.k.a. GaGa)
This last photo is NOT from the revival. We were in Alabama leading worship for an event and on that Sunday morning, before church started I saw Libby sitting like this on the front row. I think it is just hilarious and worth sharing! I told Billy that someone needs to do a CD called "Just Another Sunday" and have this as the cover! Haha!