Thursday, February 4, 2010

What I learned about parenting from "flunking" Ethiopian Court...

Today was our court day in Ethiopia where we hoped a judge would legally make Evan our son. We have prayed and prayed and had such phenomenal prayer support from friends and family I thought surely God would grant our request! Remember the persistent widow?? :) But today wasn't our day and it didn't happen as we had hoped. Our case worker is in Africa right now so one of the other CW's called today at 4:15pm to let us know that we didn't "pass". She said "the birth mother didn't respond correctly" and that she didn't know exactly what that meant but would try to find out more and get back to us. The bottom line is that the judge rescheduled our court date to Wednesday, February 17. This was good news since I have heard of families waiting another month for a new date. The agency had prepared us that only 1/2 of the families pass court on the first date due to circumstances outside of the family or agency control. So we knew this was a fair possibility. My prayer from the time we knew the date was that God would help me to TRUST HIM in the outcome. This morning in the shower I wondered if I should tell myself that we wouldn't pass and "prepare myself" for that and then if we did it would be especially sweet. I think of myself as an optimist, so I find it difficult to do that. Besides, I really didn't want to play mind games with myself, I just wanted to believe that His way is best and TRUST HIM!

We just studied John 13 this week and one of our principals was that Jesus knows all things and loves unconditionally. We saw this as He washed the disciples feet, even Judas, who He knew was going to betray Him. He knew what was in his heart, that he was insincere, and yet He loved Judas to the very end. Knowing that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) I can KNOW that He will respond to me in the very same way! His response to me will be based on 2 things:
1. His knowledge of all things.
2. His love for me, my family, and Evan-- unconditionally.

So when she called today and I heard the tone of her voice I thought "this isn't going to be good news" but I pushed that thought out of my head and returned to "neutral". When she said we didn't pass I accepted it as matter of fact and knew this was God's decision, not a judge's, not the agencies, not the birth mothers, but God's, for He is in control of all things. Since I know He loves me unconditionally I can rest that He is working all things together for good in this circumstance. Wow! Even I was surprised at the peace I felt. The CW seemed surprised too, I think she expected me to cry (for once I remained dry!).

So what did I learn about parenting from this?
I learned that God wants me to accept His sovereign decisions without throwing a fit, a tantrum, or questioning Him as if I know better (not that we can't ask questions) and in doing this I show Him the respect, honor and trust He deserves! What He showed me is that He wants Rusty and I to train our children to respond to us this way as well. When we answer our children with "no" or "not right now" they too should respond respectfully and without clamor because they trust that we love them and know what is best. Like everything else, if they can't respond to us that way, how will they ever respond to God that way? But this will take training on our part. Correcting them when they respond incorrectly and TEACHING them, guiding them HOW to respond correctly. After all, isn't everything easier to learn at eight than at thirty-eight???

Besides, Angie and Matt (#2) still don't have their court date, so this could just be part of the master plan for us to travel together! They'll pass the first time, we'll pass the second time and all travel together in March....The End. :)

So right now I praise God for knowing what is best all over this big world while I sit here in my bed clueless in Kentucky.


  1. Sorry to hear you didn't pass.....we were thinking about you and praying for you today!! We will keep the prayers going! I know I heard one family that didn't pass because the birth mother said the baby's name was incorrect on the paperwork and they had to investigate that - I wonder if it was something along those lines?? Whatever the reason, we will be praying it is all sorted out by the 17th.



  2. Just saw your post on the listserve. Sorry you didn't pass court today. But loved reading your awesome perspective. :) Love reading the stories of the people just ahead of us so that we can know what to expect along the way. :)
    Have a good night!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing what you are learning in the process. Praying for the 17th to be your "pass" day.

    Prayers and blessings,

  4. it stinks that you didn't pass and it stinks that you don't really know why. we'll be praying about that for you! you're taking this SO well though! i hope i can be like you :-) and you're right, who are we to question what God has set in motion? so i hope i can actually put those words to practice if i wind up in your situation!!! i need to put those words to practice right now in the waiting!!!

  5. I am so proud of how you handled it. Good job. You are learning just what God wants you to learn. And you are letting others learn through you.


  6. I LOVE seeing what God is doing in you through this! Can I be so Bold to say that you are reflecting Him in it all...... I thought I knew him well before our adoption journey but the deep true things I have learned along this road cannot be measured! Im glad I have found your blog to read as we walk this journey..... to the end. Wherever He might lead

  7. So sorry to hear your news. Unexpected set backs in adoption take a toll. Praying for you and your family and little Even!

  8. Beautiful post girl! So glad you are walking hand and hand with God thru this. We were just talking last night at our adoption support group how all control is lost in adoption and I am always reminded what a gift that really is because rarely do you in your mind and "usual" life realize how NOT in control we really are....and adoption really gives you a first hand look at God's authority in and sovreignty over our lives and His extreme love for us....very humbling.

    We are so trying to teach Nick the obedience out of respect and trust in us....since he as an older adoptee has a few trust issues as it is, we find this an up-hill battle some days but so glad to hear that you are challenged to do the same thing with your children. :)

  9. I love your insight on how this parallels to your children. Thanks for sharing!

  10. God is in control! Your are right! With our first adoption....things took a little longer than WE had planned BUT God's plan was WAY better than ours! Hang in there!


  11. So sorry to hear that you did not pass your court date, but WOW, what an example you are to all of us of trusting in God's sovereignity!!! Thank you for being such an inspiration that God is in control, not the system.

    Your a breath of fresh air Cristie! Thank you!

    I'll be praying that you get to travel with your friend Angie....that would be so much fun for both of you!



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