{Briar's Brother...}

Check back for info on our adoption from ETHIOPIA :)

We began the process to adopt from Ethiopia the minute we got married. Well, the Lord gave my hubby a beautiful vision for adoption when he thought he would go overseas to Africa when he graduated high school (or turned 18) and would adopt an entire floor of an orphanage.  What a sweet, loving heart he has.  When we began our friendship (in high school) he always talked about adopting.  By the time we married 8 years later, the Lord had done work in my heart about adopting as well.
We always prayed about the timing, and we probably both though that we would have all of our biological children first, and then adopt.  Somehow, the Lord changed our hearts as we grew. Before we tried to get pregnant, we really felt called to begin a foster to adopt program in Haiti. Soon after, the earthquake in Haiti brought any adoptions/fostering programs to a halt unless the children were already given a referral. We were just thinking about the next step and soon after, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby (Briar).  If you need to know more about our amazing firstborn son, you can click over to Briar's Story. This obviously put a minor halt on the adoption plans, and since we didn't have anything moving, we just decided to take a break on that.

It is funny looking back to see how the Lord was working to put Africa in our hearts separately.  When I was in Haiti the last time ( I had been twice), I just felt the Lord tell me that Africa would be the next trip I would take as a mission trip.  Sounds silly, but I even journaled it, feeling silly at the time.  Last summer, I was supposed to go to Kenya with my church, but I felt the Lord say "NO"...and then I ended up pregnant (which confirmed why I felt "NO" when everything seemed to line up as "yes".)  Then in tiny ways all over the place, the Lord seemed to put Ethiopia in front of us.  Friends who were adopting there. Random news articles.  Knowledge of the process in Ethiopia and the quick timeline they have if everything goes well.  Over time, it became clear that this would be the place that our first and/or second adopted child/children would come from.  

We had Briar in September 2010, and all through the pregnancy we had been praying about the adoption of Briar's Brother.  Although logic might say to wait several years, we saw no reason to slow down the expansion of our family, and we truly have always felt the burden to adopt and bring a baby into our family sooner rather than later. The only thing that could have slowed us down was the Lord.  Even though it might seem to some people that we are trying to replace something we lost in Briar, we don't look at it that way at ALL! Briar will always be our first child. He will always be SO INCREDIBLY SPECIAL to us.  But, we are thrilled to begin expanding our family with additional children.

We had our first homestudy in December 2010.  We began working with an adoption agency in Kentucky called "Arise for Children".  We were submitted in March 2011, and our dossier arrived in Ethiopia in May 2011.  We received a referral in January 2012.  We had to update our homestudy to reflect our biological child that was born October 2011.  We met our sweet boy in March 2012.  We brought him home in June 2012.  He has now been with our family and just celebrated his SECOND birthday.  What a blessing he is to us.  

Anyone EVER considering adoption...or international adoption...don't consider it one more minute. Please. Do it.
It's such a gift.  To you. To your child. To your family.  DO IT.