"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you" James 1:27

We continue to believe strongly in adoption - this blog serves to tell of our journey and encourages all who read it to learn of and love the journey of adoption!

Contact us at VJansen90@gmail.com


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Big Stuff = Big Prayers

The journey continues.....there is potential for some big happenings tomorrow with the Adoption situation with Ethiopia and all families involved could use some BIG prayers ALL day long....

*There are 4 adoptive Momma's in process of Ethiopian adoptions spending the day tomorrow in Washington D.C.  They have scheduled meetings with 7 Senators and 2 Representatives.  Some of those they are meeting with are on the Foreign Affairs Committee or Adoption Council.  These meetings start at 10 a.m. and the last one starts at 4 p.m.  At each of these meetings they will be leaving a "one sheet" from all families that sent them one (Yes.  You know we did!) These "one sheets" have pictures of our families and information about our adoption process/status.  I believe these amazing Momma's will also have extra copies available for impromptu meetings they hope to have with other politicians that they might run into.

*There is also a phone call scheduled at 2 p.m. tomorrow that Senator Blunt (MO) said he is participating in specifically about the Ethiopian Adoption situation.  In addition to your prayers, we'd ask you to CALL YOUR SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE MONDAY MORNING AND ASK THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PHONE CALL with Senator Blunt - or to at least call his office for more information.  Thank you!!

*We do have a Huge PRAISE from this past week.  A few years ago, the Democratic Republic of Congo had a similar situation with all of their adoptions.  The parents of DRC parents heard about the Ethiopian situation and started to reach out.  They have been a wealth of support, encouragement, contacts and ideas on how to navigate this process.  The meetings and "one sheets" for tomorrow mainly come from their wealth of knowledge.  What an amazing part of the details that God has worked out!

Please spend a few minutes out of your Monday and PRAY BIG for our boy (feel free to set your cell phone for 12:24 and pray for him everyday).

PRAY BIG for the government officials involved in the U.S. and in Ethiopia.  Pray for soft hearts with a passion for children to be loved and in families.

PRAY BIG for all of the parents on this journey....it is hard to explain how we can all love kiddos we haven't meant, but God does that in our hearts and it's an amazing, beautiful, miraculous thing.  And, when we parents love Big, the heartache and worry is big right now too.

Thank you!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Prayers and Politics

We knew Adoption was a roller coaster....

If you haven't seen our Facebook updates, here is the latest~

On April 21st, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia declared a suspension on all intercountry adoptions. This suspension was declared with no advance warning.

We were able to participate today in a phone call with the U.S. State Department and USCIS.  They are actively trying to get answers for all of the families currently involved.  There has been no reason given by Ethiopia for the suspension and no idea on how long the suspension will last.  The State Department is actively advocating for all cases which currently have a referral/match - of which we do.  We went into this phone call with pretty low expectations and after completing it, those expectations were met.  There just doesn't seem to be a lot that can currently be done and doesn't seem to be much currently happening.  From our understanding, this is the situation of a little over 200 other families....some of whom are currently in Ethiopia with their children but can not take them home (some are even formally adopted).  It doesn't make sense and surely doesn't seem right for any of these kiddos who need a home and family.  This is just so beyond our understanding!

So - when the politics of this world don't seem to make sense - we turn to prayer.  We'd ask you to join us in setting your phone/watch to pray every day at 12:24 for our boy.  We have committed to do this until he is HOME.

Here are some of our prayer requests:

*That the powers that be in Ethiopia would change this adoption situation as soon as possible.
*That our boy (who knows he is to be adopted by us) would not be worried or concerned with the amount of time it is taking for us to get there.  Pray that he would have peace.
*Pray for peace and joy for us....this is a dark cloud with us all the time.
*Pray for financial issues.....even though there is a suspension in place, we are still making monthly childcare payments, etc.  We had planned to do this, but can only do that for so long until we need to do some more fundraising.
*Pray for the uncertainty....and that we can enjoy summer, make memories, possibly vacation if we don't travel to ET.  It's just hard to plan anything right now.
*For all the children and families involved.
*For our adoption case workers - they are often the messengers of bad news like this and it is beyond their control.  They still press on tirelessly to try to help children and families...but they get weary and discouraged too.
*Pray that our case would be expedited due to the special needs and age of our son.  He's been waiting many years for a family.....it's so unfair that he needs to keep waiting.
*That's the big picture of it all.....PLEASE JUST PRAY.  PRAY.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Prayer Request

For some reason, this week has been a little bit more difficult.

Maybe it's the fact that Easter is here and all of our family will be together....without the one we wait for.

Maybe it's because we had to sign a new POA (Power of Attorney) that we hope will catch up with our Dossier in Ethiopia very soon.  We had to have a new one done because of requirement changes....so that meant another notary stamp/signature, County Seal, State Seal and then sending the paper to D.C. for it's visit to the Embassy and State Department, then back to our Agency and finally on to Ethiopia soon.  This one piece of paper could slow things down significantly if it doesn't get matched up with our Dossier.

Maybe it's just that we know summer is coming.  Summer is when we pray he'll be home.  Summer is when Court in Ethiopia closes for a while because of the rainy season.  If we don't get him home this summer we will be extremely worried about whether or not we can get him home at all because we'll get closer to his birthday.....the birthday where he'll age out.  Summer coming brings a range of emotions right now.

Here is what we are waiting on:
1) First Court Hearing - we do not attend
2) MOWCYA Letter of Consent - This is the approval/review letter that will be submitted to court before the 2nd Court hearing is scheduled
3) 2nd Court Hearing - this one we must attend
4) US Embassy/Visa appointment (usually within 2-4 weeks after step 3)

The time period between 1, 2 and 3 can be months.....and months and even greater than a year for some. In our situation, we don't have that kind of time. We would greatly appreciate everyone knocking hard on Heaven's doors this next month that steps 1 - 3 happen soon and in pretty quick succession.  Maybe we are overly optimistic, but we know we have a God who still does miracles today!

We are deeply thankful for your prayers and look forward to sharing with you what God does!

Have a wonderful Resurrection Celebration this weekend!  He is Risen!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

The In Between...

First of all, an update.  We received word from the Embassy in Addis Ababa that they have sent our case back to the USCIS here in the States. That is a good sign and we anticipate final confirmation on our PAIR letter soon.  That will allow us to check one more item off the list before we travel.  After the PAIR letter is recieved, we just wait for our Court Date to be given by the Ethiopian Court system.

When we started this 2nd adoption process, I (Vicki) anticipated it would be so much easier than the first time.  You see, during our first adoption process, I cried a lot (I know, I know - so hard to believe if you really know me).  The anticipation of so many unknowns was hard for me.  I thought that because we already had our referral, the process this time would seem like a piece of cake.  And, I had been doing pretty well until recently.  Now, as we (hopefully) are moving closer to traveling, I'm a little messy sometimes.  I've narrowed it down to two things.....

1) I'm a Momma.  Deep, deep down, through and through.  Having kids on both sides of the world right now is messing with me.  I so much just want to have everyone in one place.  And, as I anticipate traveling and being in Ethiopia for possibly three weeks, my list of "what if's" while I'm gone and away from 5 of my kids is growing longer and my stresses grow.

2) I'm a planner.  Always have been, always will be.  It's a blessing and a curse.  :-)  So, right now we are "In Between".    All our paperwork is done.  There is no busy work.  There is just waiting.  And, in that waiting, there is only so much preparation that can be done for travel, because we just have no idea when we'll travel.   So - there's lots of time that allows a mind to wander.

What do I remember in the "In Between"?  That God is sovereign.  He's in control and all the plans for travel, for all of my kids, finances still needed.....He's got it covered.  He just doesn't have to show me all of His plans yet because He is the God of the Universe.  He's the ultimate Parent and the perfect planner.  He's got this.....even during the "In Between".  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Questions......

First of all, thanks to all of you who came out to support us at our Pancake Breakfast!  We are so grateful and loved seeing so many of you face to face - such a blessing!

We've had plenty of questions lately and thought we'd offer some answers - to the best of our ability.

Where are you in the process?  Currently, there are two things happening.  First, our Dossier, is going to Ethiopia to be translated into the Amharic language and will then go through MOWCYA (Ministry Of Women and Childrens and Youth Affairs) to be studied and approved.  After their approval, we will be submitted to Court and we will be given a court date.  Secondly, we have applied to USCIS (US Center for Immigration Services)  for our PAIR letter.  This is a letter determining whether or not our child is eligible to immigrate to the United States.  We have done all we can for both of these items and must WAIT (not so patiently) to hear about their approvals.

Are you concerned about the current immigration situation?  Will it affect the adoption?  Yes, we are concerned.  Internationally adopted children are considered immigrants, so we are of course, concerned  We do not think it will affect the adoption, but we do not know for sure.  For all sorts of reasons - it could trickle down to at least complicating our paperwork process because of all that seems to be happening at the USCIS.  We pray this will not be the case and pray for all those affected by recent events and decisions.  It is heartbreaking to us.

Why does it take so long?  Why does it cost so much?  This link seems to offer a wonderful explanation - better then we ever could.   http://lifelinechild.org/why-is-international-adoption-so-expensive/

Are you meeting the financial needs for the process?  Slowly.  Surely.  God is GOOD and we trust His provision.

When will you travel?  We have no idea - it all depends on when the Ethiopian Courts give us a Court date.  Sometimes it's hard not to worry about when we'll travel and how that timing with work out.  We would love to travel late Spring/early summer.  This would be ideal - on our calendars.  But, we know it is beyond our control and as time comes closer, we just have to trust God's plan.  We are currently also trying to figure out if we make one trip (probably 3 weeks long) or two trips of one week each.  There are pros and cons for both options....financially, relational, work wise, children wise, etc etc.  We'd greatly appreciate your prayers that we make the best decision for our entire family and your specific prayers that we travel in late May/early June.  :-)

How are ASL classes going?  We're learning.  Slowly.  :-)

Thanks for checking in and for asking questions and being interested.  Pray for our Boy over there - big changes are coming his way and we pray for his, and our preparation.  May He know the love, acceptance and belonging of a Family.  Forever.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pancakes!

Central Ohio Friends - You're all invited to a Jansen Expansion Pancake Breakfast to help raise funds to bring our boy home!  Come join us THIS Saturday, January 21 from 9-11 a.m. at The Barn at CenterPoint, 620 McCutcheon in Gahanna (not too far from Easton).  We'd love to have you join us!  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Paperwork, Pictures and Prayers

This last week or so has been some great adoption news and also continued concerns in the process.....as always, adoption is a lot of ups and downs.

We recently got some new pictures of our boy and he looks like he is doing well.  We are grateful!  We also received some new documents in regard to him.  These were wonderful to receive but also  made us grieve a bit.....there's so much of his story we don't know and so much we wonder about - and maybe we always will. And, it made us all the more eager to be his family and provide a home for him because for so much of his life he has had neither.  On Christmas Eve our boy will have a birthday and turn 15.....we look forward to having him here and celebrating his 16th birthday with him next year.

We went to get our fingerprints a little over a week ago for our USCIS petition and were told via email that our petition has been approved.....so now we will stalk the mailbox for the official 171-H  :-) This document is needed so that we can send our Dossier to Ethiopia.  The Dossier is ready to go except for that approval form.  We can't wait to send it off.....after finalizing and getting State Seals, final notarization's and other final details taken care of before it leaves our hands.....

We also need to fill out another form for USCIS in order to receive a PAIR letter.  The PAIR letter is necessary for our adoption case to continue.  From what we've heard - this letter can sometimes take a long time and can become a slowdown in the process.  Ugh.  This was something that didn't need to be done in Martha's adoption process so it is totally new to us and causes a little anxiety.

We'd greatly appreciate your prayers in some specific areas right now:

*Paperwork details - the Dossier, the 171-H, the PAIR letter, final translated (into English) documents we still need and all of these eventually relating to our case being submitted to Ethiopian Court. It's a whole lot of paperwork that all needs to come together yet.

*That December 24, 2016 would be the LAST Birthday our boy has without a family!

*There are still some financial details being finalized and we continue to pray for God's provision.  As was the case in our first adoption process (or maybe it's just because it's 5 years later?) we seem to be having car problems beyond belief!  3 out of 4 cars seems to need something or other currently. The joke around the house is that we must be adopting again and God is making sure we keep trusting Him by giving us car troubles.  We're trying to laugh it off.....trying  :-)

*Timing - we are trying to not get caught up in our timeline or the timeline of the school year or Dave's Church responsibilities.  We are reminding ourselves that God made the timing absolutely perfect for our whole family when we brought Martha home and we know He will do that again.  (But sometimes we forget it's His time and not ours).  Please also pray for our Bio kids....they dream of going to Ethiopia and each have a strong desire to see that beautiful Country of their Ethiopian siblings.  We wish that were to be possible, but it won't be.  Please pray that sometime their desire would turn into reality....thanks!

*Dave & Vicki start American Sign Language classes in January....pray that we are good learners.

Thank you for your prayers and support......we are grateful for each of you who stop and ask how things are going or those who say they've said a prayer, etc.  It makes such a difference to us!  We wish you all the best Christmas Celebration - so thankful for the little baby born so long ago - who came to save us and adopt us into God's family.  O Come Let Us adore Him!