Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10 Million Minus 1

After months of praying and allowing the Lord to lead us, we are now pursuing an international adoption from (drumroll, please......) INDIA! We are excited and nervous and hopeful all at the same time! Even if we didn't see this coming, we know it did not take God by surprise, and we believe it's all part of His plan for us. Ethiopia will always be a part of our hearts, but we now believe our son is waiting for us a little further to the east, in India. We might have taken the longest, most expensive route possible to get to him, but we have no doubt that it will all be worth it. (If you are wondering why we transferred from Ethiopia, be sure to read our previous update: Detour.)

India has about 3 times more people than the US living in about 1/3 the space. There are an estimated 10 million orphans in India. One of those children, Lord willing, is our son. 

That means it's really official, guys! We are starting the adoption process ALL over! 7 pounds of paperwork, we're coming for you...AGAIN! At least we (sort of) know what we are getting ourselves into this time around. I have my file folders, highlighter, paperclips, post-it notes, and all. the. coffee ready to tackle all these steps again. (Motivating chants & pep talks will be appreciated over the next few months...as well as Dove chocolate.)

Here is a quick overview of the India adoption process for those that are curious...or who just can't quit reading. All countries operate differently so there's a learning curve for us too. 

Step 1: Home Study (AKA: Invite our social worker over to our house for the 7th time in our adoption process. We could probably be considered best friends by now.)
Because we already have an international adoption Home Study, we get to do an "extended update," which means it's [a little] easier and [a little] cheaper! There is still a LOT of paperwork involved, but the ball is already rolling on this step, and this is our current focus. We would love to have this step finished by the end of September. 

Step 2: Match (AKA: We get to see his photo!) This happens much sooner in the adoption process than in Ethiopia, and we absolutely cannot wait to lay eyes on our son!

Previously, we were waiting to be matched with a boy between 0-3 years old. We are still waiting to be matched with a boy, but India has some different requirements than Ethiopia. In India, we need to adopt in birth order, which means that we know our son will be our youngest child. Our girls are getting a LITTLE BROTHER! Eeeeee! India also requires a 6 month age difference between children. Because Hattie will be 18 months old when we submit, that means we will be waiting to be matched with a boy age 1 and under. Our girls are getting a BABY BROTHER! Eeeeee!!!!

AS SOON AS our Home Study is uploaded on CARINGS, India's adoption database, we should be able to receive a match the moment a child is available that fits within our required parameters. Some families get matched THE SAME WEEK (and sometimes even the same DAY!) that their file is uploaded. Our match could take a little longer, as we have a pretty narrow age range that we are able to request at this time. There is also a *small* chance that they will ask us to resubmit our paperwork when Hattie is closer to age 2. Our agency hasn't seen India do this in 2 years, but there's still a chance it could happen. Pray that they will go ahead and accept our paperwork as soon as possible. We are hopeful that we will have a match within 6 months of our submission, but we are holding all timeframes very loosely after our time in Ethiopia. 

Step 3: Dossier (AKA: Our whole life story on 1 million pieces of paper.)
This is approximately 6.5 lbs of the 7 lbs of paperwork (I'm only slightly exaggerating) we need to complete for this adoption. It all has to be official and notarized and authenticated and all that jazz. It's pretty important because it's what the adoption authorities and courts in India will review and actually use to approve our adoption. Our goal is to get this done within 6 months, and it can be worked on while we are waiting to be matched and even after we are matched.

Step 4: Approvals (AKA: Waiting, waiting, and more waiting!)
This step will take the most time and will probably be the most difficult for us, in terms of emotions. There is nothing we can do except pray and wait. We will be waiting for court dates and approvals for our adoption from regional and state officials in India. The whole process typically takes 3 court dates and anywhere from 10-20 months....but you know our feelings on estimated wait times by now! From what we hear, there are some regions in India that move VERY quickly and some regions that move verrrrrrry slowly. It will all depend on where our son is living and the judges who handle our case. Start praying for them NOW because our approval is in their (and God's) hands! We will actually be granted a finalized adoption without ever appearing in court. 

Step 4, B: Grant Applications (AKA: Show me the money!)
We lost a big chunk of our adoption savings when we left Ethiopia, but there are still hundreds of grants out there that we can apply for while we wait to travel. God is bigger than finances. 

Step 5: Travel (AKA: Go to India, and get that boy in our arms!)
Once we have our court decree, we get to make travel plans! We will only need to make one trip to India. We will spend 10-14 days in country, bonding with our [already legally adopted] son, learning about the culture, being tourists, and obtaining documents - before finally coming HOME. 

Step 6: Home (AKA: Become a family of 5!)
We are praying and hoping and believing that this whole process- start to finish- will take us 18-24 months. Pray for a smooth process, for perseverance, and for us to continue to trust in His timing. It's been a wild ride so far, but we can't wait to see where this journey takes us.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


We strongly believe God set us on the course to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia 4.5 years ago. Now it seems, though, that our adoption story and the path to our son has dramatically changed course.

Ethiopia suspended international adoption 3 months ago. They have not cleared new children for international adoption for over 6 months, and there are no known plans to do so anytime soon. Everyone is unsure whether or not they are planning to reopen international adoption, but all signs and rumors are currently pointing to NO. If the current Prime Minister had her way, it seems it would be a definite NO. The law banning international adoption has not passed through parliament yet, so there is still a little hope for international adoptions in Ethiopia to continue. However, there is so much negative media attention surrounding international adoption within Ethiopia at the moment, and it is a very political issue with strong feelings on both sides. 

After 4.5 years and much prayer and guidance, we believe God is leading us out of Ethiopia, and we feel that we are unable to pursue an adoption from there any longer. (Keep reading though, we aren't giving up yet!)

It is easy to be angry and upset and confused by these circumstances. We've wrestled with it for months, and we have asked the tough questions: Why would God lead us to a country that He knew was going to suspend adoptions? Why would He have us wait over 4 years for nothing? Why would God have us spend so much money on an Ethiopian adoption when most of it is nontransferable to another adoption? 

But then we asked ourselves another big question. Knowing what we know now, if we could go back in time, would we still pursue an adoption from Ethiopia 4.5 years ago?

The answer is undoubtedly YES. As crazy as that sounds and as much heartache and stress as it has caused, YES we would do it all over again. You might be shaking your head and screaming at us right now- WHY would you do that to yourselves!? Well, to put it simply, God's plan and timing are perfect. Always. As we've been reflecting upon and praying through those hard questions, we've received glimpses and reminders of what God has already done throughout this process and how His plan is still perfect:

1. Why would God lead us to a country that He knew was going to suspend adoptions?
Oh friends, Ethiopia is forever in our hearts. God knew we would fall in love with a country that we previously had known nothing about. We love the people, we love the culture, we love the food, and we've had so much fun incorporating pieces of it into our own lives (and plan to continue to do so for many years to come). We believe that God put Ethiopia on our hearts, even if it may not be for the reason we initially expected. Maybe someday adoption will reopen in Ethiopia and we can try this whole process again, maybe one day our kids will adopt from Ethiopia or marry someone from Ethiopia and we will have Ethiopian grand babies, maybe God will call us as Ethiopian missionaries, or maybe....just maybe.....God just wanted us to glimpse the country through His eyes. God allowed us to see the orphan crisis in Ethiopia, and we are burdened to help, even if we can't physically bring a child into our home from Ethiopia right now. We have researched several organizations that assist in family preservation, education, and access to the Gospel, and we have decided to partner with Compassion International to support a 4 year old little boy in Ethiopia named Dawit. He was born the SAME DAY that we were accepted into the Ethiopia adoption program, and celebrating his birthday each year will be a sweet reminder of God's plan and faithfulness. Thank you, Lord, that we have been forever changed by Ethiopia. We are excited to see how He continues to use this in our lives. 

2. Why would He have us wait over 4 years for nothing?
This specific adoption process may not have resulted in a new family member, but it was not "for nothing." Over the last 4 years, we have seen God do some amazing things. We have seen mountains moved and miracles performed for ourselves and other families adopting from Ethiopia. We still got to witness, firsthand, the power of prayer and God's strength on display. We have learned and grown so much through this adoption process. As we have held onto Him, He has shown Himself faithful time and time again. We have made some amazing friends throughout this process that we may have never met, had we not pursued an adoption from Ethiopia. We have two beautiful girls that might not be here today if our Ethiopian adoption process would have moved as quickly as originally anticipated. Yes, it has been a long 4+ years, working and waiting, but it was still worth it in the end. We can't help but think it will make even more sense once we finally complete our adoption journey. Perhaps all this time we have just been waiting for our son to be born. 

3. Why would God have us spend so much money on an Ethiopian adoption when most of it is nontransferable to another adoption?
I know it's taboo to talk about money, but we have been asked about this question more than any other, perhaps because it's the most tangible loss. It's actually the one that bothers us the least throughout this redirection. Looking at our finances and our budget, we should not have been able to pay $20,000 toward this adoption. God brought us every single penny we needed, exactly when we needed it for the last 4+ years. Praise God, amost $7,000 in fees will transfer with us to our new adoption process because we are remaining with the same agency, and they have waived as many fees as they can for us. The rest of the money has already been paid out to third parties, and we have kissed it goodbye. (You sign things that warn you about this exact situation at the beginning of the adoption process...but you just never think it will actually happen to you.) We know, ultimately, all money is God's and He will do with it what he will do, and we trust Him. The good news is that we have recently received 5 adoption grants, and, praise God, they will ALL transfer with us to our new adoption process. With the amount we've paid + the grants we received, we thought we were DONE financing our adoption. Unfortunately, now we have a deficit of what we need to complete an adoption. Do we believe God will provide for this twist in our adoption process as well? Yes. No doubt. We will apply for more grants, and we will tighten our budget. We may even throw one more adoption fundraiser your way, if you'll let us! God is good, and He is faithful. 

Our desire to adopt is still present, and we have already transferred to a new adoption program within our same adoption agency. We are still pursing an international adoption, but God has changed the country....and even the continent! We still believe we have a son waiting to come home, even if he's not coming home from Ethiopia. We are choosing not to look at this as a dead end, but rather, a detour along our path.  The twists, turns, and dips along the way are all part of our story, and they are just as important as the finish line.

We will be sharing more information about this new leg of our journey very soon. Stay tuned to see where God has led us and what the future might look like for our family. Lord willing, our adventure is not over yet!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

El Roi

I've been trying to write an update for weeks because I know some people are curious, but I've really been struggling with what to even say in the midst of this mess. It has been almost 2 months since Ethiopia suspended international adoption work. 2 months without a statement from the Ethiopian government. 2 months without some sort of plan for the 4 million orphans in Ethiopia. 2 months where it has been weighing on our hearts and minds. 

Thank you to those of you who signed petitions, shared links, and wrote letters to Congress. It worked! The issue gathered enough momentum and attention that Congress met and drafted a letter to the Ethiopian Prime Minister. The letter was sent with 122 Congressional signatures, which was amazing! (Supposedly 50 signatures would have made it a very strong letter.) The letter requested a response from the Ethiopian government by June 1 and encouraged Ethiopia to process all cases "in the pipeline" already. Unfortunately, our case is not defined as "in the pipeline" because we have not been matched with a child. The letter did advocate for the continuation of international adoption, however, which is our hope as well.  

With extreme anticipation, June 1 came and went and the Ethiopian Prime Minister did not give an official response. In the last 2 weeks, she has allowed portions of the international adoption process to continue though. Praise God, almost all of the children who were legally adopted prior to the suspension (and "stuck" in country because of missing documents) have received their exit letters, passports, and are or will soon be HOME with their forever families! There has also been positive movement in other stages of the adoption process- approvals granted, court dates issued, etc....only time will tell if this will lead to the continuation of adoption work in Ethiopia.  

While we are thrilled for those families and rejoicing with each piece of positive news coming out of Ethiopia, our case (as well as hundreds of others) is NOT moving forward right now. It is unclear whether or not new children in Ethiopia will be cleared for international adoption, which is what needs to happen in order for us to continue this adoption process. The Ethiopian government has not given a statement about their future plans for adoption. The government has not said that they are closing international adoption....but they have not said that they are NOT closing international adoption either. 

What does this mean for us? We have absolutely no idea. We are stuck in limbo, which is such a hard place to be. Some days we hold onto hope believing that we will bring a child home from Ethiopia, and some days we try to prepare our hearts for the worst-case scenario. I've been going through the Psalms lately, and my emotions can relate to the ups and downs of those chapters: adoration, broken-heartedness, faith, frustration, hope, anger, belief, despair, rejoicing...

In the last 2 months, we have had several conversations with our adoption agency about our options. Heartbreakingly, nervously, and in disbelief, we went over every option to transfer to a new adoption program. We listened to new requirements, learned what new processes would be like, heard about the new finances we would need to get in order, and sighed at how long estimated wait times are for each new process once we are at the bottom of a new list. It is hard to believe that God would take us on a 4 year, 3 month, $20,000 detour on the way to bringing home our son, but He might have....and if He did, He is still good. 

Don't get me wrong, there have been times in the last 2 months (okay, and throughout the last 4 years and 3 months) that I have cried and screamed and questioned and ashamedly thrown my temper tantrums with God.  But He is El Roi (Genesis 16:13-14). The God who sees me. All of me. The God who knows all of my feelings and emotions, and the God who loves me. The God who has my best interests in mind, even if it turns out to be dramatically different than what I expected. He can be trusted because His ways are higher, even when we don't understand what He's doing. We can hold onto His promises and trust in His plan....even if we don't know what that plan is yet. He is doing something beautiful, even through the painful and confusing growing/pruning/waiting process: He is leading us to our son. 

Pray with us:
-That God would soften the hearts of Ethiopian officials and end the international adoption suspension in Ethiopia 
-That cases "in the pipeline" would be completed quickly, consistently, and without issues
-That God would rise up people in Ethiopia to adopt children in Ethiopia (Domestic adoption is not suspended there, and many children need homes, however, it is not a big part of their culture at this time.)
-That God would make His plan and path for our adoption process abundantly clear. (Do we continue to wait? Do we transfer to another program? Both options seem difficult and scary right now.)

Thank you for sticking with us through this roller coaster of an adoption process. We are thankful for you.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Thy Will Be Done

Each year on Mother's Day I am so full of hope, and I think, "Maybe next year he will be home!" I'm going to go ahead and dare to dream that next Mother's Day we will be a family of 5. 

This year, however, is a little different. Although, tomorrow will be a sweet celebration with our girls, this Mother's Day is the most difficult one in our adoption journey. Within the last few weeks, Ethiopia has suspended all international adoption work- without warning, without a given reason, and without a time-frame. There are many rumors and pieces of information we've heard surrounding this suspension, but all that we really know right now is that things are suspended and children are not being approved to leave the country. 

What this means for the future of our adoption from Ethiopia is unknown at this time. Unknown. Is there a word that more easily evokes unnecessary anxieties and worries? I doubt it. There are millions of questions weighing on our hearts. When will the suspension end? WILL it end? What steps will be added to the adoption process when/if it continues? How much longer will we have to wait? What will we do if the suspension turns into a full closure? (I can't even bring myself to say that last question aloud.)

With every question, weighing on us, there are also truths that resonate in our hearts and minds: This suspension did not take God by surprise. He put it on our hearts to adopt from Ethiopia. He has paved our way through all of the ups and downs of this 1,513 day adoption process so far. (Including, but not limited to, allowing us to be approved for multiple adoption grants in the last month, which will completely take care of every single penny we need to complete this adoption.) His timing is perfect. His ways are higher than our ways. God has a plan and a purpose.

With everything in us, we want God's plan and purpose to be a little boy from Ethiopia in our arms with the last name of Mackey. And we would like that soon, please. Ultimately, though, we pray in Jesus name, "Thy will be done" and prayerfully ask for strength, guidance, and trust in Him all along the way. 

How can you help?
-Pray that Ethiopian officials would make the best decisions for orphans in their country.
-Pray that the 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia would be placed into families (family reunification, domestic, or international). 
-Pray that God would soften the hearts of Ethiopian officials opposed to international adoption, if it is the child's only chance to be loved and cared for by a family. 
-Pray that we would receive a referral/match for our son this summer. (This is our "Sun Stand Still Prayer" [Joshua 10], as it seems humanly impossible right now.)

As always, we are thankful for your prayers and your support. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Oh Brother

Eliza doesn't understand adoption or how it works, but she talks about her brother like he lives at our house already. So much so, that I warned her teacher at the beginning of the school year: "When you hear Eliza talking about Judah, she's talking about a little boy we are adopting."

Giving him a name makes it seem like we know who he is, but we don't. We just know that we are still waiting to be matched with a boy between 0-3. We decided to name him not long after we started the adoption process because we wanted to pray for our son by name. We decided to name him before even meeting him because he is growing in our hearts just like a child that would grow in your womb. We named both of our girls before seeing their faces, and we did the same with our son. 

Judah means "the Lord will be praised." We have seen God revealing himself to us and carrying us through this LONG adoption journey, and we know that throughout it all (however long it takes), the Lord WILL continue to be praised. Judah could end up being our son's middle name- depending on his given name, age, or situation. For right now, though, to us, our son is Judah. 

To Eliza, her brother is Judah. She already loves him. She prays for him. She tells people about him. You can frequently hear her squeal with excitement when she hears the name in the Bible or a song, "Oh that's Judah- that's my brother!" She talks about how he's coming home someday and how they are going to eat cupcakes. She tells us his favorite color is yellow (or green, depending on the day). She causes our hearts to ache when she says things like, "Let's go to Ethiopia! Let's go right now. Let's go get Judah!" (If only we could, baby girl....but someday we will!) Eliza is convinced that her brother will be there for her birthday, which is in August. As it turns out, that MIGHT be a possibility. 

A few weeks ago, we received our last "wait mailing." Our agency sends them out in 3 installments, based on where you are at on the list. We are far enough along to receive the final one. It told us things like which documents to start updating, how we will receive our match info, what the process will look like once we are matched, and what to expect as far as travel plans. 

We still don't know how long it will be before we get our referral (match), but we know that things are MOVING in Ethiopia! The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs sent workers from Ethiopia to make surprise visits to the U.S. this summer to check on children who have been adopted from Ethiopia. Thankfully, the government was pleased with what they saw in the U.S. The new officials in Ethiopia seem to have a more positive attitude toward international adoption - seeing international adoption as a good option instead of a last resort. We have also heard that a record number of adoption letters have been signed in the past few weeks. These things stir our hearts with excitement and anticipation!

Of course, there is still red tape everywhere. The U.S. is proposing new adoption regulations, Ethiopia's proposed changes to international adoption are still pending, and Ethiopia is still in a "State of Emergency" because of civil unrest. There are also regions of Ethiopia that still refuse to sign adoption paperwork, and our agency can no longer work in those areas, limiting the number of children they can assist. We know God can and already has worked it all out, and no matter what, He will be praised.

Our adoption paperwork has been in Ethiopia for over 3 years now. We have just recently updated our home study and immigration clearances (for the 3rd time during this process). They will expire again in another 18 months. We feel confident, though, that we really could meet our son in 2017. We would love nothing more than for Judah to be here for Eliza's birthday...so they can eat yellow (or green) cupcakes together. :)

Pray with us.

Photo credit: Deer Photography KC

Friday, April 29, 2016

Another Mother's Day

This will be my 2nd Mother's Day as a mom. Oh, how I love being a mom.  I am so grateful to be able to spend this day with TWO precious girls this year! Our 2nd biological daughter, Hattie Rae, was born on March 24 at 6:52 PM. She weighed 6 lbs, 10 oz and was a whopping 22.5 inches long. We are adjusting to being a family of 4 and loving every minute of it.

Simultaneously, this will be my 4th Mother's Day as a "waiting mom." As much as I will love spending the day with my girls, I long to spend it with a little boy as well. We long to be a family of FIVE. For over 3 years, we have prayed and worked and hoped and planned and dreamed of completing an international adoption from Ethiopia.

Mother's Day can be so difficult for so many women: those who have lost a mother, those struggling with infertility, those who have experienced miscarriage, those who have suffered the loss of a child on earth, those who have stared at a photo of a child but have not been able to bring him/her home yet, and (like me) those who are still waiting for a referral but are already in love with a child they've never seen. We may not be experiencing the exact same emotions or thoughts or feelings, but we all have some things in common: a child-sized hole in our hearts and a feeling that our family is not complete. 

I can't pretend to know how each one of you feels. I can't promise you a miraculous pregnancy. I can't promise that your adoption will be completed. I can't bring back your loved one. What I can do, though, is offer hope- the hope I cling to in the midst of this ever-changing, unknown, difficult adoption journey: 
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging… He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 10)
The Bible says that God knows the desires of our hearts, and we know He works all things together for good for His purpose. While I can't promise that things will work out how we hope or want them to, I can promise that God has a plan for us. I can't promise that it will be easy, but I can promise that we can trust Him and lean into Him. 

You see, it has been 3 years and 2 months since we began our adoption journey. Sometimes we don't feel any closer to completing our adoption than we did 3 years and 2 months ago. It seems like each month we wait, the estimated wait time to completion also jumps up another month. Current estimated wait times (for a healthy child between 0-3 through our agency) are now 48-60 months from the time your paperwork is submitted in Ethiopia. Our paperwork was submitted 30 months ago. This means that we could potentially be only halfway through our waiting process.

In the past several months, a lot has also changed in Ethiopia. There have been changes in leadership, changes in stability of the country, and proposed changes to the international adoption process. All of these things could impact our wait times even more. 

Our biggest concerns at the moment are the proposed changes to international adoption requirements in Ethiopia. A draft was written and submitted to their government back in February. These proposed changes have to do with the requirements families have to meet in order to adopt a child from Ethiopia. Thankfully, we would still meet most of the proposed requirements to adopt from Ethiopia: age, income, health status, marriage requirements, etc. There are a few proposed changes that could impact our adoption process and our family, though. 

One of the proposed changes states that a family cannot have any more than 2 children in the home before bringing an adopted child home. Currently, we meet this requirement. We have 2 beautiful daughters. That means, however, we cannot expand our family any more. We aren't sure of our family building plans other than having 2 daughters and adopting our son, but this change could make that decision for us. Another proposed change would require post-adoption reports to be submitted every 6 months until the child is 18. That is a LOT of paperwork to complete, but we would happily do that if it means bringing our son home. The most concerning change, however, would require adoptive parents to remain in country for 6 months prior to completing an adoption. If this proposed change passes, Marcus and I have no idea how we can stay in Ethiopia for 6 months with our jobs and our 2 kids. We are praying that this requirement, specifically, would not pass. If it does, we are praying for God's guidance and direction on how to proceed. Please pray with us. 

These changes have been submitted and reviewed, but no decision has been made. We have no idea when to expect a ruling, but we do know things in Ethiopia move at a very slow pace. We also know that changes like these have been proposed several times over the last 10 years, and nothing has come to fruition. Our agency, however, does expect to see some changes in the adoption process. We just have to wait and see what those might be. 

Due to the unknown and instability in the Ethiopian adoption program, our agency has offered its families a chance to switch to other country programs. However, we feel like God has led us to Ethiopia and that we have a son there.  We will continue waiting and working to bring him home until God completes this adoption or completely closes that door. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. 

(Photo credit: Jessie Ann Photography)

Friday, November 27, 2015

1,000 Days

It has been 1,000 days since we signed the initial paperwork for the Ethiopian adoption program with our agency. It has been 1,000 days since we began praying for, hoping for, and waiting for our son. 1,000 days ago we knew that we were waiting to be matched with a little boy between 0 and 3 years old, and today that is still all we know. So much has changed, though, in the last 1,000 days: 

•1,000 days ago, the estimated wait time for being matched with an infant/toddler was 18-24 months. Now, the estimated wait time (which recently increased--again) is 48-60 months.
•1,000 days ago, the estimated cost of completing an adoption from Ethiopia was $28,000. Today, the estimated cost is $35,000+.
•1,000 days ago, Marcus and I were "homeless" (living in church housing) so we were unable to complete our Home Study. Today, we have been living in our home for 2.5 years, and we have completed and updated our Home Study twice. Good news: we get to update it again in the summer.
•1,000 days ago, it was just the two of us (and our dog), waiting for our son. Now, our daughter is 15 months old, and we have another daughter due to arrive mid-April. (Don't worry, we still have the dog too.) We have filled out additional paperwork and have been approved for concurrent family building plans twice in the last 1,000 days- such wonderful blessings!

Although so much has changed in 1,000 days, one thing has always remained constant: The longing we feel to bring our son home from Ethiopia. 

We will continue waiting, even if it takes another 1,000 days. We will continue to believe in God's perfect timing. God has been faithful for more than 1,000 days, and we know He will never change. He is still knitting our family together, and we are hopeful that we will meet our son in 2016. 

Some of you have been praying with us for 1,000 days, which means more than words could ever say. Thank you.