Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Friday, April 29, 2011

9 months old...

Guess who's another month old? Our little prince!

Our little man shares his special day with another prince and now princess that got married today. They're in good company on this beautiful day!

Happy Birthday, Aidan. Mommy is praying hard that you'll be home with us before you turn another month old. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Holt International Ethiopia video

Just in case you thought I had neglected my promise to post videos sharing the important work that Holt International is doing around the world, here's another one...and look! It's from my favorite child's homeland. :)

Blah, blah, blah...

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but no new exciting news to report today. We had paperwork to fill out last week that our embassy is requiring for any families submitted after April 25th (yesterday). We overnighted this as soon as we got it finished, and the staff in Eugene received it yesterday. However, since our agency submits new cases for embassy on Tuesdays, and there is no way that the paperwork can get from Oregon to Ethiopia in one night, we have been told that there is no way that we will be submitted this week.

I was disappointed, of course, but at the same time, it's good knowing ahead of time. Now, I won't be checking my email every 5 minutes praying for word from Holt of our embassy submission. I'm not too hopeful about next week either, since Jenn at Holt told us that it usually take 5-7 days for paperwork to be expressed mailed from Oregon to Ethiopia. If my math is right, then the earliest that it will be in Ethiopia is next Monday.

Of course, anything is possible with God, so...

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's in a name? Everything!

We got a copy of Aidan's birth certificate and our court decree yesterday. We've known that we are legally his parents for the last month and a half, but it's nice to finally see it in writing. He also has a new name (well, until we officially change it again *LOL*)! Our son is now B(Ethiopian name) Mark Robinson. Too funny! It's traditional for children in Ethiopia to be given their father's names. There's something about this step that makes it all seem more real. He's ours and we are his. He has our last name. We're imprinted upon each others' hearts.

As I was feeling out more paperwork last night (changes to the embassy requirements = more paperwork for the parents), it struck me that this is the first set of forms that I've filled out where I've written his last name the same as our's. It was a really special moment.

Well, off to get more paperwork notarized and overnighted before the bank and post office closes. We're one step closer...maybe baby steps, but we're on our way to bringing our little guy home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Onto next week...

Well, for my five faithful readers *LOL*, as you may have already suspected, we were not submitted to embassy yesterday. We still have nothing specific about our case, but there were a couple of cases similar to ours that were submitted. These cases have also gone through the added scrutiny and extra paperwork that I have mentioned. So, there is hope that we will be submitted soon.

As I suspected, we have been told not to rely on the previous timeline, because so many changes have gone into effect recently. This is doubly frustrating, because we have no idea when we'll move forward or what specifically is causing our case to not be submitted.

We continue to put our faith in God's judgement and feel that the changes being made to the Ethiopian program are positive. I'm sure once we have our son home, we'll feel even more convicted that these changes are for the best, not only for our children, but for the continuation of adoptions in Ethiopia. Right now, however, it's hard to think beyond our heartache. We want our little boy home so badly and every day that passes is one more reminder that he's not with us. I wonder what he's doing now. My niece is starting to crawl. Is he? Oh, how I love my baby boy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Praying Hard...

that we'll hear the news that we've been longing to hear, "You've been submitted to the US embassy". It's been 6 weeks since our court date and Holt has said that 6-8 weeks is the "normal" time to wait before your case is submitted. Of course, with the unknown delays, we just don't know.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up today. Last week I felt so sure that it was OUR WEEK and so deflated when we got the news that we had not been submitted. Those that have traveled this two-trip road before us have said that the time between court and embassy is the longest, hardest, most emotional time, and BOY, have they been right. I want my baby home so badly!

If we don't hear news today, then we'll have to wait until next Tuesday, since Tuesdays are the day that our agency receives update information from Ethiopia. Come on embassy submission! Our little boy needs us.

The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer.
Psalms 6:9

But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.
Psalms 18:6

Friday, April 15, 2011

In Loving Memory

To my three beautiful babies born with wings
4/14/09, 5/6/09, 4/16/10

You will never be forgotten.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Okay, time to snap out of it!

The song "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" keeps playing in my head, except this is NOT a party. I've been feeling so whiney lately, but enough's enough! This is NOT about me. My little boy is healthy and we got word yesterday afternoon that he's been moved to Addis. This is fabulous news for us, because he's one step closer now to coming home. However, can you imagine how scary this new transition must be for him? Other than his birthmother, the caregivers at the Durame Care Center have been his only family. He's been with them since he was 6 weeks old and now, just like when he was taken from his birthmother, he's forced to leave them. My heart breaks for my little boy. So many traumatic changes in such a short time, and here I am feeling sorry for myself. My little baby is already teaching me and he's not even home yet.

Our social worker contacted me yesterday to tell me that we would need to update our homestudy since it will expire in May. She asked if we thought we would travel before May 10th, because if we did, there will be no need to update it. "Uh, don't know." I really hate this wait!

When I emailed Stephanie to ask if there was any new news, she gently (gotta love Steph) reminded me that we are well within the 6-8 week time frame between court and embassy submission that Holt quotes. I needed to be reminded of this. These "unknown" delays have me frazzled, but it's only been 5 weeks since we passed court. There are others that passed court in January and have not been submitted to embassy yet. So, I've officially been chastised.

It's been 6 months since we got the referral for the most special little boy imaginable. We don't know when he's coming home, but at least we know that he IS coming home. For that, we are supremely thankful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Just got word from Holt that there are no new embassy submissions this week. I was really counting on this being the week. Tomorrow marks 6 months since our referral. Thursday will be two years since our first miscarriage, and Saturday is a year from our 3rd miscarriage. It's going to be a tough week.

I'm heartbroken and missing my little boy so much.

Trusting In God while I wait (day 8)...

So today's the day...

Today's the day that our adoption agency sends out the family updates to let us know where we are in the process. If we've been submitted to embassy, more than likely, we'll hear something today.

God has already been faithful to so many prayers. For one thing, the government has avoided the shut down that many called unavoidable. Because of this, many families will be able to bring their children home from Ethiopia. My friend, Cerise, is one of those families. Her little boy, T, will be in her arms in only a few short hours. Praise God!

I had a dream last night. We were in Ethiopia with Aidan. I'm not sure the circumstances, but the staff there told us that we would be leaving in a week to bring Aidan home. I woke up with the happiest feeling of peace and joy, and that feeling has not left me yet. I'm very hopeful that we will hear something today.

In my dream, a close family member was also in Ethiopia with his wife to adopt a child. I remember feeling so excited for them and proud to have been a catalyst for the decision to adopt. This is a dream for Liam and me- to inspire others to adopt.

There are 147 million orphans around the world. God calls us to be their protectors. There is a real need for Christian families to come forward and take in these children. AND, just so that we are clear, because we've been asked MANY times why we're not adopting "our own" or an American child- they are ALL our OWN, because they are all God's. Aidan is no less mine than an American child and no less mine than if he were my biological child. If you are comtemplating a calling to adopt and would like to talk to someone, please know that I'm here to answer any questions. It's a LONG journey and at times very daunting, but even now, with the uncertainty of delays, I can honestly say I would do it all over again. Looking at my sweet baby boy, there isn't a moment of doubt. He's worth it!

But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith.
Galations 5:5

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trusting in God while I wait (day 7)...

Liam and I were running about all weekend long, so I didn't have a chance to write anything new.

I am VERY hopeful that we will hear something this week. I don't have any new information, so I'm completely walking by faith, but I just feel optimistic that this will be the week that we hear something. I believe that part of faith is giving a request over to God and then being confident that He will answer that prayer. So, I'm being bold and choosing to believe that God will answer our prayer very soon.

This is a week of anniversaries. One is that on the 13th it will be 6 months since we received our referral for the most amazing, curly-haired little boy. He never is far from my thoughts. Liam and I will both find ourselves daydreaming throughout the day. When the other asks what we're thinking about, our answer is always "Aidan". This journey has single-handedly been the most rewarding and difficult thing that I've ever gone through, with the last month bringing the most intense longing. It's different that the pain that I felt with our miscarriages. I had no hope then. Now I am filled with the promise that God is bringing our little boy home to us. Oh, how I wish it was today. :)

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalms 5:3

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trusting God while I wait (day 4) and one month update...

So, as I was saying, I'm not feeling the most optimistic lately. In fact, I feel pretty defeated at times.

There is now a very good probability that the US Government will shut down, which means that when we get submitted to embassy, nothing will happen. Should the proposed shut down occur, they will not be processing adoption visas. This means that anyone in Ethiopia during this time for their embassy date will not be able to bring their child home and will therefore be stranded there until the government shut down is over. It also means that anyone who has been given an embassy date and has not traveled, will more than likely be asked not to travel until after this craziness is over. And for us? Our paperwork will sit at an empty desk, since no one will be there to review and approve it. This will affect countless families and children.

This past month has been the most difficult yet. It's been one month since we passed court. I remember one month ago, I felt such excitement and euphoria at the news that we had passed and Aidan was legally our child. Since then, we have endured a seige of rumors and speculations, followed by bad news and delays. It's exhausting!

When we first came home, we were bombarded about reports that MOWCYA (Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs) was going through some major changes and that they were proposing to reduce their case load to 5 a day. Since they currently process 50+ cases daily now, this would mean a reduction of 90%. We had been told that we could expect to travel back to Ethiopia in 2 months to bring Aidan home, but with this latest news, we (and others) were speculating that it might be a year before we would travel. Our adoption agency and countless others sent emails warning of this possibility, but cautioning everyone to stay positive. Well, so far, the proposed reduction has not taken place, though there are still rumors circulating that once MOWCYA clears its case load of around 800, they will begin processing only 5 cases a day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very supportive of added scrutiny to ensure that a more transparent, ethical process for international adoptions takes place in Ethiopia. I'm just frustrated that it would mean our children may have to spend an extra year in an orphanage. I fully believe that Aidan is receiving the best care possible and am eternally grateful to the wonderful nannies that care for him and love him, but it's not a home.

Our heads were still reeling with the news of the changes with MOWCYA when we got the news that specific cases (Aidan's included) would not be submitted to embassy until the Ethiopian government and our agency could come to a compromise with the U.S embassy over new paperwork that the embassy is requiring. This was a HUGE blow! I know that everyone at Holt is working around the clock to come to a quick agreement, but its still beyond frustrating. We were in hopes that we would be over there in a we have no clue when we might travel.

Now, there's the government shut down.

I know that all of this is the devil trying to discourage and defeat us. My eyes are focused on God. He is the source of my hope and strength. I'm worried, but I'm not without faith. God, who has seen us through countless trials, will see us through this.

I had a dream last night about Aidan. We were home with him and the love that I felt for my baby was so immense. I hold to that feeling of complete joy. I KNOW that Aidan will be home with us someday. I pray that it's soon, but if not, I will continue to praise the name of God who brought him to us in the first place. It is because of Our Heavenly Father's steadfast love, that we are parents. I trust him to bring our little prince home safely. The most powerful governments on earth are no match for the awesome majesty of our Lord.

But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.
Romans 8:25

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trusting God while I wait (day 3)...

No new news today.

The update email from our adoption agency yesterday was positive, but we have no specific day yet for when our case (and other's like it) will be submitted to the US embassy. I go from feeling pretty optimistic to feeling completely heartbroken and frustrated.

I knew going into April that it would be a difficult month, but with the added uncertainty of when we will be able to bring Aidan home, I'm a basket case of emotions. I'm still trying to look for the positive, but I feel that the adversary is doing his best to lead me down the path of self-pity and hopelessness.

April always reminds me of pregnancy. April is Infertility Awareness Month. For years, April was a reminder of the children that Liam and I may never have. For the last two years, I have also discovered that I was pregnant in the month of April, only to have our dreams squashed once more when I miscarried. April no longer holds the promise of renewal to me. Instead, it just reminds me once more of the deep loss that infertility and miscarriage brings.

Worst of all, jealousy has reared it's ugly head. I REALLY hate feeling envious. It's not a pleasant emotion, nor am I a very nice person to be around lately. I'm jealous of those with children. I'm jealous of women who have found out they're pregnant and still have the joy and wonderment that only innocence can bring; innocence in believing that everything will be fine and nothing bad could possibly happen to steal that excitement. I'm jealous of those that have received embassy dates and will soon be bringing their children home. I know, UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!

Now there is talk of a government shutdown, which will further complicate and delay us. I just feel that everywhere I look, the news is depressing. I really pray that all of this gets resolved quickly, but with every day that goes by with no real news, my hope is deminishing.

Heavenly Father,
Please work all of the chaos to Your Glory and bring our son home to us quickly. Please take this stupid, ugly, pathetic feeling of jealousy and cast it far, far away from me, Lord. Give Liam and I (especially me) the peace that surpasses understanding, Father.

But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trusting God while I wait (day 2)...

I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.
Psalms 62:5

This is very similar to yesterday's verse and is also found in the book of Psalms. I would like to think that I'm good at waiting patiently, but in truth, I must admit that God has convicted me during our adoption journey that I am not a very patient person. The word "quietly" really stands out to me here, because I have been anything but quiet in my wait. I've complained, cried, argued, felt sorry for myself- just about anything to get God's attention. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for ya?" Uh, not very well. So, in my pursuit of finding sense out of this Adoption Roller Coaster, I am challenged to just be still and trust in My Heavenly Father. Trust that He has control where I feel as though I have no control. Trust that He is working all of this to His glory. Trust that He has a watchful eye on Aidan and is keeping him safe.

Heavenly Father,
I do trust in You. I trust that You will sort out this mess and that You will bring our son home to us. I know that You have guided us every step of the way along this journey, and I know that Aidan is the child that You have chosen for us. I trust that You will keep him safe while we wait. My hope rests in Your assurance to us that Aidan in ours and that he is coming home to us. I may not understand, but I'm not promised complete understanding. As hard as it is, I will wait patiently on You. Please give me the peace of mind that I need during this difficult waiting time. Please use this time to draw Liam and I closer to you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Challenge...

So, along with my new perspective, I thought I'd challenge myself to spend more time in His Word. Therefore, I am studying passages which reference God's command for patience. My challenge is this- while I am waiting for news of our embassy submission, I am going to study and memorize a verse a day. Did you know that there are over twenty references to waiting on the Lord in Psalms alone? Seems to me this must be pretty important to our Heavenly Father. Today's verse is one of my all-time favorites.

I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Psalms 130:5

Grant me patience, Lord, in my time of waiting for You to bring our son home.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A new perspective...

So, over the weekend I had a "Come to Jesus" moment and realized how selfish I am being. I know it's completely normal to feel frustrated at the prospect of not seeing our son for...well, we don't know how long. But, there is NO reason for me to feel the deep despair and gloom that I've felt this past week.

I have so much to be thankful for. Aidan is OUR son! He's healthy and after watching how his nannies interact with him, I know he's being well taken care of. He's happy and gorgeous and everything that I prayed for. All those tears and prayers and darkest moments have led me here- to the most amazing child. I am blessed! I have a wonderful husband, who has put up with my moods and being the "door mat" for my emotions. He's healthy. I'm healthy. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends who support and love us. Most of all, I have my Father in Heaven, who has promised to love me and never leave my side. He has walked through the darkest valleys of this journey with me and no matter how many times I have pulled away and grown angry with Him, He still loves me and never gives up on me. I have so much!

I had the opportunity to attend Winter Jam (hence the additions to my playlist- already LOVED Kutless, but Francesca Bastistelli was there and cool) this past weekend and volunteer by helping sign people up to sponsor children through our adoption agency, Holt International. Talk about a humbling experience. I've been dwelling in my own pain and misery and have only wanted to see one small corner of the picture that God has painted for us. I've been stuck in my own gloom and haven't wanted to see any other perspective...not even Liam's.

But, there is a much bigger picture. Only God knows why we're experiencing these delays now. I have to trust that He knows what he's doing. That's hard to do, because I don't like feeling powerless. I want to be able to make things happen, but that's not how this process works. God who sees all and knows all, has chosen to delay Aidan's homecoming for a bit. I don't know why, but I know that He would never put us through added pain, if it were not for a VERY good reason. So, that's it. I'm letting go and putting my full faith in God and in our incredible adoption agency who has an excellent reputation and has done so much good for thousands of orphans and children at risk around the world.

It's not easy, but it's worth it.

I love you SO much, sweet Aidan.