Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ethiopia Bound!

The long-awaited trip is almost here! We leave in 2 days for Ethiopia and are starting to get giddy with excitement.

This trip is monumental for us on so many levels. First and foremost of course is that Chase and Elias get to meet Tizita for the first time! Our agency grants us almost complete independence during our stay in Addis, so we will spend everyday at the orphanage with her, just getting to know her more and giving her lots of cuddles and kisses.

Our court date is on Monday, January 14. This is when we will legally adopt her in the court system. Once we pass court and she is officially a Brown then the agency staff will work on getting all the paperwork in order- birth certificate, passport, etc- and send our case to the U.S. embassy. The embassy then reviews the file and will contact us for an embassy appointment where they will issue her a U.S. visa and then we can bring her home.

The time in between court and embassy is usually 2-4 months, so we will return back to Texas after just a week in Ethiopia and wait for our time to return to bring her home. It's going to be a hard wait! We are requesting for Tizita's case to be expedited for medical reasons and the Ethiopian staff is assuring us that they are going to be rushing through their part of the processing so that she can get home as soon as possible.

Please pray with us that this is the case and that the embassy approves our request to expedite her case! Tizita is well loved in the orphanage and for this we are very thankful. But her medical needs are extensive and we hope the embassy allows her to go home with us as soon as possible.

And then the other huge part of our trip is Elias getting to see his homeland where he spent the first 17 months of his life. We will be spending time with his birth family, a paternal grandmother, aunt and uncle, who raised him for that first year and we anticipate this being a very emotional but wonderful time. Elias is a walking story of redemption and hope and we just can't wait for his birth family to get to see him in action.

His family never knew that he would get to have a prosthetic leg, much less walk and run and play sports. They have seen pictures and some video (when I was there in November) and were astounded, but to see him in person will just be an incredible experience for them. It will be exhilarating, emotional and overwhelming for all of us but we are praying protection and peace over our sweet son and trust that it will be a good time.

We will also be spending time with our friends Jimmy and Rachel Gross and No Ordinary Love Ministries and traveling 6 hours south to Soddo to see the Gabrysch family at Soddo Christian Hospital.

It's going to be a full trip!

We will be blogging while we are there. And when we pass court we'll be allowed to finally post full pictures of our beautiful daughter so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I leave you with random family photos from the past few weeks.

Family Photo

Last picture of Star Wars leg before he got a new socket

Dramatic photo of Merin showing her most loved outfit of the holiday season.


Yogurt body wash (and she insists on wearing hats or hoodies on most days)
Christmas Day

Snow in Texas!

I love the toddler figure in high heels

Happy 8th Birthday Elias!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Meagan - I'm all teary. I caught up a little on your growing family today and I just want to reach my hands to the sky and say "Thank You" to such a wonderful, amazing God - for you, for Chase, for Elias & Merin and beautiful, beautiful Tizita!!!
    What an incredible journey you have been on and what an amazing test-imony He has built up in you!

    Would love to hear about Elias' visit with his birth family!

    I am lifting you up now that you will return home on the 30th!

    A verse from first Samuel comes to mind: "Stand still and watch what I am going to do" !!!