We Are Coming Home

We are coming home. All 8 of us.

As I look back over the last 3 months, God’s hand is so evident. They say hindsight is always 20/20 and that has never been more true for me than now. You all know how I struggled during the wait for my children. It seemed as though there were one delay after another and after a while I felt beaten down by the waiting. I kept telling myself that God had a plan, that I could rest in His timing, that God had nothing but the best planned for me, but even though my head knew these truths, my heart was another matter entirely.

And now? My head and my heart are overwhelmingly rooted in the goodness of my God.

There are so many details of the last 3 months that are just plain miraculous!

First of all, the “stinking document.” You know, we never ended up with that document. The judge finally waved the requirment for it. But it was because of the journey to try to obtain this document that adopting Leah was even possible.

And Leah’s adoption!!! This is a true and unexpected miracle. Just one little snippet of her story….when Scott first went to Harar to try to gather her paperwork, he met with the director of the orphanage. This director is new to his position and he was not around when Leah first entered the orphanage. He apologized to Scott, but told him that through some administrative glitch, Leah was never registered and her paperwork was never started. It would be a minimum of 6 months to get that paperwork completed. So Scott went down to the local courthouse to see if he could talk the judge into waiving some of the paper chase process. The clerk at the courthouse told Scott that there must be some mistake. She had completed Leah’s registration paperwork herself. And in fact, she had a copy of it all right here! Problem solved. Go God!

Our timeline….yes, the wait seemed unending in the beginning! But the finish line has exceeded all expectations! Do you remember when I wrote asking for prayer about our return date? The anniversary of the death of my husband’s best friend is August 21 and we were so hopeful to be home before then. At the time I wrote that blog, we had no idea that we might be able to adopt Leah during this trip. And now here we are, planning our return home – not only 7 of us – but all 8!!!! And we will be home a whole week before the August 21 date I had requested of my God.

The US Embassy clearance. This one still has everyone in shock! Our contact in the states can not understand it! Our Ethiopian agency has never had a case clear in 2 days before! EVER! The average time is 5-6 weeks! Our local embassy contact went with us today to finalize visas and passports for our 3 little ones. As we left he said, “Why do they want to help you so much? They are being so nice!” The Embassy here has a rule that paperwork for adoptions can ONLY be submitted on Wednesdays. But not in our case! They accepted our first 3 last Monday. And today they told us to bring in Leah’s medicals as soon as they are done. Don’t wait until the next Wednesday. Why? Only because of God.

Only because of God.

So we are coming home. All 8 of us. We booked tickets to leave Ethiopia on Monday, August 13. We will arrive home very late on Tuesday night. As of right now, Leah’s medicals are not complete and she is not cleared to travel. But, also as of right now, we are operating on faith that she will be ready to go when that plane takes off!

Thank you all for partnering with us during these last 3 months. I have never felt more supported by prayer and love than I have while I have been half a world away from all of you.

Here are a few family pictures I wanted to share with you. I realize that my future holds many attempts at capturing a picture with all 8 of us smiling, facing the camera and looking semi-normal.








14 thoughts on “We Are Coming Home

  1. Stephani

    WOW. Praise God! This is so exciting! After looking at your family picture (well half your family picture since it contains 4 and not 8 of you) for so long hanging outside the Children’s Ministry Room, I’m looking so forward to seeing you all in person! Can’t wait to meet the kids and love on them and get to know them!

  2. Lorraine Paoli

    Oh my goodness! Thank you God!!!! I am sooooo happy for your family!!!

    Remember that I have gifted your family a photo session when you return! : ) I can’t wait to see all of those smiling faces!

  3. summer

    GOD is so amazing! i am so excited you guys get to come home soon. praying for leah’s medical clearance. AMAZED by God right now.

  4. Erin Warkentin

    I am sitting here crying right now. Just so blown away by the deadlines that asked God for, the barriers that he pushed. He is just so big, and sometimes in our normal everyday lives, it’s hard to see that. I just wanted you to know that I still pray for your family each day. I pray for them as they transition back to the US, and this first year you start as a new family. I hope that you will still update this blog with prayer requests and praises, and triumphs and tries. I love these kids that I’ve never even met.

  5. Aunt Bunny

    When will Leah’s medical be done? I hope everything goes as planned! We all will be praying for all of you.
    We love and miss you.

  6. Liesje

    So so happy for you!!!!! God has smiled down on all eight of you. I know God will speed through Leah’s clearance too. Can’t wait to have you all back in the States! Please let me know if there is any thing I can help with. Safe travels. YES!!!!!

  7. Susan Moerer

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs. I look forward to them every time I click onto my emails. I hope you don’t stop even after you are back. They have been so inspiring. Love you and praying for you. Love, Susan

  8. Cristin Vosburgh

    Wow!! What WONDERFUL news!!! I got goosebumps when I read this!! God is SO good and we are believing with you for Leah’s medical to be completed in time!! Yeah God!!

  9. Linda Price

    Thank you for all your updates on your beautiful family during the last 3 months. Roy and I wish you the best during your next adventure at home.

  10. Lacey

    It has been such a joy Natalie sharing your journey. I love how we were able to see God’s faithfulness and provision and blessings and true joy he brought in so many ways. What a blessing to read your experience. How excited you must be to be home. We will continue to pray for you throughout this “phase” and the next.
    Lacey and Tony

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