Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Fortune Cookie Wisdom

The other day we ate at the local chinese restaurant again. This time when I opened up my fortune, it said, "friends will help prepare you for a gift you will receive next month." Now, there is no way that our child will be home next month, however, we MAY have our referral by then. Then tonight's fortune read "A dark haired woman will soon be giving you a gift." I know what you're thinking, I'm obsessing over this adoption to the point that a simple fortune cookie is a sign from God of good things to come. Either that, or you're thinking, 'man these people eat a lot of chinese'. Either way, I'm beginning to see our afore-mentioned poet/fortune man in a whole new light.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jake and Ella's birthday party

This weekend was my niece and nephew's joint birthday party. Ella turned 3 in July and Jake will be 5 in September. Normally, they are separate days, but as I mentioned before, my sister is 7 months pregnant and preparing for the birth of her third child, a girl who most likely will be called Ava. Nicki puts on the most elaborate birthday parties. She is very creative and everything from the invitations to the party favors has her own personal touch. I usually get enlisted for some extra labor and to help see her vision become a reality. This year Ella wanted a Princess party, while Jake wanted his to be Baseball. They really are not themes that go together easily, but with some trial and error, I believe we pulled it off.

Drumroll please, we're number...


Friday, August 27, 2010

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

The best fortune cookie I ever read was "God gave us memory so that we may have roses in December". I guess it caught my eye because, for a fortune cookie, it was fairly philosophical. I'm used to the vague astrology-sounding fortunes. You know, the ones that make you smile, but then get tossed in the trash soon after. I still have this one. In fact its taped to the lunch menu in my classroom, though I'm not sure why I chose that particular spot.

When I read that sentence, I pictured a poet hunched over at his writing desk, committed to ridding the world of cheesy fortunes. I guess the flip-side of this, and probably closer to the truth, is that some down-on-his-luck writer is reduced to scribbling a few lines that then get stuffed into a pastry to make a living. However, he (or she) made me ponder his words and I guess even life for a moment so I figured that was worth holding onto it. Well done, fortune man! But I'm digressing.

Last night, Nichole (my sister), her husband, Jason, and their kids, Jake and Ella (the two best kids in the world, but I may be a bit biased) joined me for dinner at our local Chinese restaurant. My sister is 7 months pregnant and when she opened her fortune it read, "a tiny, little package will be arriving shortly". We had a laugh, because both Jake and Ella were BIG babies. Jake weighed in at 9.5 and Ella, born 2 weeks early, was around 8.11. Jason and Nicki don't make "tiny, little" babies.
Eager to see if mine was as whimsically funny, I hastily cracked it open... "Good things come in small packages. One is coming to you." I know what your thinking, our mystery poet/fortune man is fixated on small packages. This may be true, but it still made me smile. I think I'll hang it next to its predecessor. Fortune man is on a roll.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Long?

One of the questions that people seem to be the most curious about it how long it will be before we bring our baby home. In short...we don't know.

I'm REALLY praying that we'll have a referral within the next month. My birthday is on the 24th. What could be a better present? Ethiopia recently passed a new requirement that both parents travel twice. I think that this is in response to recent developments around the world in regards to international adoption. Most adoption agencies have the best interest of the child at heart (Holt definitely does), but unfortunately, some do not. There's been accusations of selling children and corrupt practices in other countries that have caused those countries to either suspend or cancel their adoptions overseas. Ethiopia, from what we have been told, is being proactive and dealing with any problems before they arise. Therefore, they've toughened their requirements.

The first time that we travel will be for court and we should be there about 4-5 days. From what I understand, both the birth parent(s) and adoptive family will be required to attend. I'm nervous about meeting the birth mother and possibly, the father. There's no denying, however, that this will be in the best interest for our child. We'll have a story to tell him/her about his birth family, and perhaps even a picture. For that, I am willing to deal with a bit of awkwardness. Besides, I really want the chance to thank her for her sacrifice. I want to be able to tell her what a gift she is giving to Liam and I and how we'll never be able to express our deep gratitude. I think most of all, I want to reassure her that we will love and cherish this child and give her a sense of peace about her decision. When we are there, we'll also get to meet our little guy/gal for the first time; though we are told that this will only be for a few minutes. I think that Holt doesn't want to cause the children any more stress and a couple of new people fawning all over you and then leaving would undoubtedly be added stress.

The second trip will be 6-8 weeks later. Again, we should only be there about 4-5 days. This is when we will take custody of our child. From what I hear, since we will have passed court by then and he/she will be legally ours, Holt will give our child to us when we get off the plane practically. From there, we'll have some final paperwork to fill out before leaving the country with our baby!!!!

So, to answer the question, I'm hoping to be home with our child by late winter or early spring. Before then would be AMAZING! But, if I take into account that the first trip will be probably 2-3 months after our referral, and then the second trip will be another 2 months, then that puts us around February or March. Ugh! Have I complained enough about the waiting. :)


Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting?!?! I know what your thinking, my last post was about waiting. I'm over it now, I just want to see my baby and squeeze his/her chubby cheeks. From what others who have gone through the adoption process say, though, once you have your referral, then the waiting gets REALLY HARD. Really?!? God is teaching me a lesson in patience, I know. It still doesn't make the waiting go by any faster, though.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Liam and I have a special place in our hearts for couples that are experiencing infertility. Besides songs that lifted me up during our 4+ year struggle, I also found solace in the following poem. Many times God uses the darkest hour of your life to create a miracle. My relationship with my Father has grown through this struggle in a way that I'm not sure it would have if He had just answered my prayer in the beginning. Sometimes His answer is simply to...

by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

Monday, August 23, 2010

An awesome video about adoption

What's in a name?

Didn't Shakespeare ask that?

I decided to name my blog The journey of 8,000 miles begins with...HOPE for two reasons. First, according to Adam's blog (a good friend from church who adopted his little boy from Ethiopia), Addis Ababa (the capital city of Ethiopia and where we will be traveling) is exactly 7,999 miles from here. I'm taking his word for it! I figured with our penchant for getting lost, one mile more wouldn't make a difference. If you want to read Adam's blog about his and his wife's, Sarah, journey to their son, Malachi, you can at:

Secondly, I like the message behind the old Chinese Proverb; The journey of 1,000 miles begins with just one step. So true! I've said it so many times in frustration through this process...if I had seen the whole picture of all the paperwork and disappointment, I'm afraid it would have seemed too overwhelming and I would have never started. Isn't God amazing to only show us a bit at a time?

Josh, our pastor, spoke to Liam and I about this very concept once a few months ago when I was crying and deathly afraid that I was suffering another miscarriage. I had said that I wish that God would show me the next 9 months, so that I could just see the outcome, because the worry and anxiety of the moment was killing me. He reminded us God doesn't work that way. He only allows us to see just a bit in front of us, because we are told to walk by faith, not by sight. It's for our own good that God doesn't reveal everything.

I can see that now. If I had the full picture 4 years ago of everything that we would endure these last years, I know that I would have said, "it's not worth it". Instead, after every frustration and heartbreak, God revealed a bit more of Himself to me. Liam and I started this adoption with just two things...the hope of two people who desperately wanted to be parents and the faith that God would one day fulfill that deep longing. And He is. I guess I could have just as easily named this blog The journey of 8,000 miles (or a lifetime) begins with...FAITH.

Hope Is Rising
I've lost all my earthly optimism,
That it's all going to be alright,
That the good will win this fight.
Somewhere between youth and disappointments,
The dream became despair, the love became a lie,

Just now, I've reached the end of my line,
Just now, I'm to tired to keep on trying,

Hope is rising, it's a sunrise, for the end
Hope is rising, and it's breathing for me again,
Hope is rising again.

Soon beneath the roses I will lie,
All the memories of my days, gathered to the sky,
Soon all my work will find it's worth,
And all my strength returned, to the water and the earth,

Just when I reach the end of my life,
Just when my eyes dim out the last light.


Okay, so I think I've caught everyone up to date (or at least myself). I need to figure out how to put pictures on here, so that my blog can be a bit more interesting. One final thing is to talk about the referral waitlist. We were officially put on the waitlist for a referral on 6/3/2010 when our revised dossier made it to Holt. We started off the process at around 35-40 (they didn't have an exact number to give us). We were told to check back in two weeks and they would be able to tell us more. I called on June 21st. We were told that we were number 28! On July 6th, Jennifer (one of the Ethiopian program staff members) emailed to tell us that we had moved up to 24. Yay! Unfortunately, the month of July brought no new referrals, so we stayed at 24 all month. On August 4th, we were told that we were number 21. Finally, and most exciting (since it was completely unexpected, we were told on August 16th) that we were number 12!!!!! Yay.

I just emailed Jennifer to tell her that I had faxed our 171H paperwork to her office and was told that we are still #12. I'm so excited!

USCIS (I600-A form)

While we were waiting for the Dossier to get to Holt and then onto Ethiopia, we were also working on getting the I600-A (Petition to adopt an orphan) completed with USCIS (Department of Immigration). Liam and I were gone to Chicago from 6/11-13 for the Yellow Ribbon Event which is held for returning service members and their families. We had a great time and it was all FREE. Liam was in meetings most of the time, but we got to explore the city a bit with Shams and his wife, Catherine. We were supposed to fly home to Springfield and then get up bright and early the next morning (Monday) to drive into St. Louis for our fingerprinting appt. with USCIS. It didn't work out that way.

Our plane got delayed in Chicago due to rain. This, of course made us miss our connecting flight in Memphis. In fact, we're pretty sure that we saw the plane that we should have been on take-off as we were waiting to get off our plane. So, we scrambled around and stood in a LOOOOOONG line to try and catch another plane to Springfield. When it was clear that there were no other flights flying into Springfield, we asked to be put on a flight to St. Louis instead. We figured that we could rent a car in St.Louis, make our fingerprinting appts. (Liam's was on Monday, mine was on Tuesday) and then either have Jason (my brother-in-law) come get us or catch a greyhound down to Springfield. Long story short, we flew into St. Louis around 1am, got up for our appt. (luckily, they let both Liam and I get fingerprinted, so that saved us on a second night in a hotel) and then made plans to catch the greyhound, so that Jason wouldn't have to drive the 4 hours up, followed by another 4 hours back and then get up to go to work the next morning.

Apparently, the Greyhound bus has become a very popular way to travel. We went and ate, thinking that as long as we arrived about an hour early to catch the bus, we would find a good seat. WRONG! We arrived an hour early to the sight of line that would rival a Stephanie Myers' book signing. Luckily (still not sure how it happened), we found seats close to the front sitting across the aisle from each other. I was sitting next to a very nice Kenyan man, while Liam found a seat next to an older man from...I can't remember now. We struck up a conversation with the Nigerian man, told his that we were adopting from Ethiopia and started asking about the language and climate in that part of Africa. His advice was to try and learn Swahili, in addition to Amharic, since the language is nearly as common. Our bus driver was hilarious. She was one tough gal, and was not going to take any crap off of anyone. She ran a tight ship and would make random statements towards the whole bus about conversation that she could hear from somewhere in the bus (not quite sure how) or music that was playing too loud, though I didn't hear it. I wouldn't mind her skills in my classroom. About an hour into the busride, we noticed that there was no air coming from the vents. Babies started crying and people began flapping papers violently in front of their faces. Finally, a very small lady with a newborn baby made her way up the aisle to tell the bus driver that we were all melting. The bus driver pulled over to the side of the road to announce that there was a problem with the bus and she had to turn off the air. She said she was going to have to call another bus to take its place, but that this could take up to 3-4 hours, of which we would be stranded on the side of the road. She was desperate to make a connection in Joplin, since if she couldn't, those people would be stranded in Joplin overnight. So, we pressed on, this time with the hatches open at the top of the bus. Let me try to paint you a lovely olfacation portrait. Picture it, 80+ people on a crowed bus (many of which had been riding the greyhound for a couple of days by the time that they picked us up), no air and it's a sweltering June night. Lovely!

We made it as far as Rolla, when the bus' emergency lights all lit up. So, we pulled into the McDonald's (which we were told if we went to for ANYTHING, we would risk the chance of getting left behind). Now that we were further from St.Louis, we were told that it would likely take 5-6 hours for a replacement bus. It was decided that we should keep going. We arrived in Springfield more than an hour late, but Jason was there to greet us. Isn't he the greatest?!?! We felt such a sense of companionship with our fellow traveler's that we gave our Kenyan friend a ride to his hotel.

We waited anxiously to hear if our I600-A paperwork had been approved. Around the beginning of July, we got a letter in the mail saying that they needed more information. We were told that this might happen. A new agency had taken over the process and apparently, their guidelines are more stringent. We gathered the appropriate paperwork, and mailed it off on July 8th. We waited for a month, but still no word. Finally, I broke down and emailed that first of 3 emails requesting information. No response! Emailed again. No response! Tried to call, just to be told that I needed to email instead. Tried again. No response! Finally, I took to the Holt Forum on Yahoo (a wonderful group of people going through the Ethiopian adoption process with Holt, as well). Within 20 minutes, I had a direct phone number. I called the next day (8/16) and was told that our agent would contact us that day with information. Finally, I received an email....our I600-A had been approved and was waiting on the supervisor's desk. Yay! I emailed Holt to let them know that we would have the 171H paperwork within a couple of days, and discovered that we had moved from #21 on the list to #12.

The funny thing about infertility is that any fantastic news is always met with a bit of skeptism. We've been SO excited SO many times, that it's hard to bring ourselves to allow our hearts to go there anymore. There's always this fear of the other shoe falling, and being heartbroken again. So, we had told only a few people that we were adopting- our families, pastor, and assistant pastor, their families, the Horton's and Baker's (both of which have adopted as well), a few other people from church and my principal and a few teachers, who have been there with us during the years that we tried desperately to get pregnant, and then the miscarriages that followed. With this new information, we finally felt like we could announce to the world that we were going to be parents, and that's exactly what we began to do.

Dossier part 2

Of course the POA had to have both of our signatures on it and Liam was in Ft. Leonardwood with the army. I drove up that weekend and we scrambled like mad to find a notary. Couldn't find one at the bank, post office of any other government office (go figure). My oh-so-smart hubby finally thought of a car dealership. So we wisked over to the nearest one and thankfully the nicest woman on the earth at that moment agreed to notarize it for free. So, again, first thing Monday morning (a week after my original plan), I walked into our State Office and was out within 10 minutes, state-certified POA in hand. Liam felt that we could wait to mail it the following day (really?), but I wasn't about to wait. We raced (do you feel the urgency with all of this?) to the nearest post was only a distribution center...found a "real" post office and mailed off the final dossier. Yay!!!! At the same time we mailed off the I600-A paperwork to USCIS (the petition to parent an orphan which goes to the Department of Immigration). A bit expensive, because I insisted on doing it all overnight. Hey, I'm a bit anxious, here. This was 5/24.

On 5/26, I got an email saying that we needed to get colored copies of our passports to send with the dossier (I just sent in black and white copies) and that we also had to get Liam's certificate of US citizenship notarized by USCIS. Our nearest office is in Kansas City. We got the information on the Friday before Memorial Day. So bright-and-early Tuesday morning (6/1..Happy Birthday, Lindsey), we drove up to KC. It was a quick process, but gave me headaches trying to figure out how to go about it. Liam was surprised that we were in and out of the office within 10 minutes. His prior experience with immigration had left a bitter taste in his mouth and he was prepared (as always) for worst case scenario. Funny story, on the way to the USCIS office, we got lost (of course). We had to make an appt., so we were stressed to try to make it on time. It's in the industrial section of an office that does not look "official" in the slightest. We were running low on gas, added to a mile long traffic jam, and now we were running late. Whew! Luckily, we doubled back, found a gas station and arrived just in time for our appt. (not that it really mattered, as the office was empty, except for us. After we got his paperwork notarized, we were on the lookout for a post office. Found another distribution center instead. Raced around for a bit, before we found the correct place. We mailed off our Revised Dossier (over-night, of course) on 6/1/2010. We got notification that our Revised Dossier made it to Holt (in Oregon) on 6/3. Notification that our Dossier was in Ethiopia came on 6/23/10. Yay! The same day, we got word that they had lost our POA (blasted piece of paperwork). So, Melissa Sixkiller (LOVE HER) notarized us a new copy and, Liam, his dad (who was visiting with us from Ireland), and I raced over to our State Department (again!) to complete the process (again!). We sent this off on 5/25. It was Received at Holt on 6/29 (Liam finally put his foot down about the over-night mail). We received word that it was in Ethiopia on 7/16 (Happy Birthday, Nicki). Yay!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Home from Niagara Falls, unfortunately our luggage is not. We had a cool surprise waiting in our maibox when we arrived...our 171H form. Oh Happy Day! It's beginning to feel real, now. This is really going to happen. We're going to FINALLY be someone's Mommy and Daddy!


Back to my playing catch-up. So, the next step in our adoption process after the homestudy was complete is getting the dossier ready to send to Holt, who then sends it onto Ethiopia. If you think of it this way, the homestudy and USCIS paperwork (explained more later) is for our government, while the dossier is for the Ethiopian government. Luckily, we could work on both at the same time since both require a medical check and some information from our employers. The dossier is more elaborate and therefore, time-consuming.

By the time that we received our approved homestudy (5/14), we had nearly all of the paperwork complete on our dossier. We only had to get our dossier and POA (Power of Attorney) state certified and then we were good to go. So, come Monday afternoon, with the enthusiasm of a young child, I bounded off to the State Department Building in Springfield. I left 30 minutes later frustrated and grumpy.

One of our notaries had used her middle initial to sign and it was also on her stamp, however when she registered, she applied using only her first and last name. One simple mistake, yet it caused a world of headache. Our homestudy was state certified and ready to mail, as well as all of our other paperwork for the dossier, but we weren't able to mail it, because we couldn't get the POA state certified. UGH!!!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Niagara Falls

We're in Niagara Falls this weekend. I bought one of my first purchases for the baby's nursery, though I still don't if we're getting a boy or girl. Now that we're number 12 on the list (did I mention that), I'm getting more excited. I bought a giraffe and elephant. If it's a boy, I'm planning on a safari theme...if it's a girl, I'm thinking butterflies. My new find joins an african/black doll made from stockings and an afgan that my mom bought at a craft festival last year. Below is a picture of the african doll, giraffe and elephant. The teddy bear is from Walt Disney Land in California. It says "Baby's first Disney Bear." I bought it on a school-sponsored business trip a few years back. Nichole (my sister) was pregnant with her first child at the time. Since there was some speculation as to whether she was expecting twins, I bought two (secretly, I hoped that I would get to keep one for when we had our first child). Anyway, one went to Jake and FINALLY, we're able to put the other in our child's nursery.

I forgot to mention that our social worker, Judy, thought we would know something by the end of summer. Technically, it's still summer. Adam Horton, who adopted his little boy, Malachi, from Ethiopia said that the call could come any day. They were #9 when they got their referral. I can't wait to finally see our litte guy/gal. It's going to be amazing!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home Visits and Parenting Classes

Bear with me through the next several posts as I try to update things. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that any of this will be very interesting for anyone besides myself. Liam even finds the date keeping tedious, which is why I'm the one keeping a blog. I think it will be important one day to our child, though I may be in denial and he or she will find it all a waste of time.

I had sat down tonight with the intention of writing about the reasons for our decision to adopt, though that seems to overwhelming and emotional of a task to undertake at 10pm on a Wednesday night. I'll come back to it one day, because I think that it's important to explain to our child. Then again, depending on how public this blog becomes, I may choose to leave it unadressed, as the decision to adopt is a very personal one. Anyway, for now onto the homevisits and parenting classes.

Liam and I officially applied with Holt International on December 30, 2008 (our 8th anniversary) after 3 years of trying to conceive. We were really having a hard time knowing what direction we should go in...I was originally drawn to adoption, but then became more and more convinced that IVF might be the right step. Liam was always on board with adoption- not to say that he hasn't had several reservations about the financial aspects. We went ahead and applied, but were still on the fence about what to do.

Liam was deployed to Afghanistan on March 6th, 2009. By September 2009, we were fully committed to adoption. While Liam was gone, our adoption process was on hold since one of the first steps is a homestudy and that requires both parents to be present.

During my Christmas break in December, I began to collect paperwork for the homestudy and dossier. I applied for several copies of my birth certificate, our marriage certificate. and Liam's divorce decree from his first marriage. I had a physical and had to get it notarized, go by the bank for a notarized letter stating that we're in good standing with our bank, employment letters and a notarized letter from the police station stating that we don't have any outstanding warrants, etc. The worst part was the bio that has to be completed on each's a 30+ questionaire that asks you eveything from your parenting philosophy to what was your childhood like.

Liam came home on February 28, 2010. He spent the next couple of weeks collecting his paperwork. On March 20th and 21st, we had our parenting classes from 9-3 each day. These were held in Kansas City and we had the worst time trying to find the Holt building. We arrived just in time for the classes to begin. I thought it was a very helpful and insightful 2 days. It really caused Liam and I to think about not only why we are adopting, but also th kinds of influences that our child will be around. How many minorities are present in our lives? At one time they showed us a video of adult adoptees discussing their adoption in a very negative aspect. It was really disheartening and gave us some concern..well, maybe not Liam so much. To be honest it was pretty scary. But I understand where they are coming from that they want everyone to go into adoption with eyes wide open. On the plus side, we met a wonderful couple from the KC area, Joe and Ali Freudethal. They received a referral for their little boy a week after the classes and are coincidentally on a plane as we speak headed to Ethiopia to bring him home!

The following Friday (3/26), Judy Young, our case worker came for our first home visit. I really love Judy. We had met once before KC parenting classes at a Holt gathering. We had been warned not to worry about cleaning the house from top to bottom, but never-the-less, we were up late the night before cleaning, much to Liam's complete annoyance. Jason, our brother-in-law, said our house had never looked that good before. Judy came in and looked around for about 10-15 minute, checking for smoke detectors and other safety issues. She was in and out so quickly (partly because of car troubles her daughter was having), I was somewhat disappointed.

Her next visit, however, on April 23rd was more lengthy and involved several questions. We were notified on May 12th that our homestudy was complete and ready to pick up. We met her at the Library center that Friday, the 14th. Funny story, I didn't realize that we were approved yet. When I found out, I nearly leapt with joy. One more step closer to our little one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Welcome to our adoption journey!

I meant to start this blog ions ago. In my mind, I had it all planned out. I was going to provide a written legacy of our journey through the adoption process for our child once he or she is old enough to want to know about the details. Why am I surprised that this blog hasn't gone as planned? Nothing about our longing to start a family has gone as planned. Over three years of infertility, followed now by three miscarriages. I suppose that's why we have to trust in God, though. The last four years is nothing that I would have ever planned, but I don't regret any of it, because it has led us here...number 12 on the waitlist for the referral of our little baby. There isn't a child that is more wanted or anticipated than this one. I've dreamt of this baby...our baby, for so long. In the beginning the dream was to get pregnant, but through waiting and loss, God has given us a different dream. There are currently 5 million orphans in Ethiopia~ 5 million! Somewhere in all the lonliness of infertility, and make no mistake about it, infertility is the most isolating experience that I have ever had (isolating from other women that are able to experience motherhood, isolating from my spouse, who though he may try to understand, can never fully appreciate the guilt and frustration that not being able to have a child can cause, and isolating from God, who I have felt at times has deserted me/us), our Lord has seen to it for a childless couple to find hope renewed through one small motherless child. Isn't God amazing?