One week Home

We have been home one week, Miss Ava and myself, and things are going well. She is a gem and save for all her spitup issues that we are working to figure out or may simply have to wait for her to outgrow, she is a dream of a baby. She is our fourth child so perhaps we are just a bit more on track with how to meet her needs but we stand in awe as to how perfect she fits our family!
Most of you know I have a thing for photos! I love to take photos, I love to look at photos, There is something so rewarding in playing around with my camera until I capture just the right moment. The problem is that as hard as I have tried, I still tend to have camera issues when shooting outside of auto mode which I try to no longer do. That is a whole other topic but suffice it to say that those who have helped me to better understand photography have finally convinced me that with good equipment I must shoot in a  manual mode or never get beyond the basic shot. I am a work in progress let me tell you but I keep thinking that 
Passion can often trump knowledge 🙂
So while going through the hundreds of photos I would like to share from our trip and our first week home, I stumbled across this one taken this week of Ava:
You know what I love about it?
You got it. 
To me it is the perfect image to remind all of us that so often life is blurry.
Life can be messy and even at its best very unclear.
our journey to Ava, which began two years ago on paper and four years or more ago in 
our hearts, was very blurry.
We had mountains of fear and so many questions.
At times the process seemed insurmountable
We were the very busy parents of three boys, we own a business,
we had roles in our church, our school district, our community.
We had taken my Mom in who had a terrible accident and she lived with us for nearly 8 months.
Really it seemed there were just too many things going on all around us to 
even consider adopting.
The nudging and the feeling that we were meant to do something related to adoption
would simply not go away. There were days when I  sort of wanted the feeling to end.
We were getting old and our boys were growing up… NOT GOD’S PLAN!
I kid you not when I say that not a week would go by without my excitement in telling 
my husband about another connection I had made related to adoption. It would happen 
so often that I would begin laughing when a conversation would start. I would expect to turn on the radio and hear something related to Ethiopia. When we finally started the process there was no question that the agency would be All God’s Children International but we were unsure about the country.
We initially chose Nepal for many reasons but again ENTER GOD…
We spent several months worrying about our choice to be in the Nepal program. There was little transparency and we felt very unsure about where we stood with the timeline of the program.
this process for us was 
Finally after a million signs and many conversations we both KNEW beyond a doubt that Ethiopia 
was where we were meant to be all along.
The change in programs was a BIG STRUGGLE.
We had to begin again, all the paperwork, the money and the home study…
Yes indeed it all had to be done again!
There is so much more to the story of hurdles and roadblocks that happen in adoption.
I am asked daily why it is not easier to adopt and now I have a clarity that I lacked two years ago…
My answer to that question now is this…
Perhaps the process of adoption is challenging in order to challenge us.
Do we have a faith that is giant enough to see us through.
Will we turn and run the other direction when the situation is not going as we 
have planned? Will we trust, pray and share our thoughts and fears with others?
Will we develop a community within the adoption world who will help squelch our fears with their own stories?
You see God not only wanted us to bring home a little one who needed a family from Ethiopia but 
HE wanted to change and rearrange our hearts. That was the grand plan! 
So even the BLURRY days were days of purpose.
I tell you all this and show you sweet little Ava’s blurry face to encourage you to keep pressing forward.
Adoption is not a simple task but it is not meant to be.
Wear a smile each day knowing that if adoption has chosen you well you are richly blessed and 
should be pinching yourself with anticipation and excitement. For you have so much ahead that God wants you to experience. You are chosen and we are chosen.
After all we were adopted into God’s kingdom.
Enjoy the moments and remember that clarity might just come later in the 
7 replies
  1. mlynne
    mlynne says:

    How does one parent thank another parent for the profound impact they have on their hearts on a given day when so needed?

    We are a new family to AGCI, Ethiopia. We started in Taiwan, almost 2 yrs ago, waitlisted 1.5 yrs ago, switched to AGCI from another agency. We have held adoption in our hearts >23 yrs(# of yrs married), prior to the birth of our (3) kids, through all the mergers and moves we have made, to now. Our hearts opened, our ears heard, our calling was just so apparent to answer that which had been intended for us for yrs, but, needed a leap of Faith. For as you recall of your own life, there never is a perfect time, life is busy, busy, busy, when involved w/ kids activities, school, church and family needs.

    Adoption is something that fills my day,thoughts and emotions. There are many who question why we would want to have another child, why at our ages (mid 40's), why we dont want "me" time. It takes a special person like you, like your beautiful post, to help to confirm and to free the part of us longing for this child, this culture, this adventure, this journey, this rollercoaster in our lives.

    We will be signing our contracts this week, as w/ you, this is the 2nd time doing so, paperchasing, paying $ out, a leap in faith that THIS time, we are on the road we are supposed to be on. Last time I had much anxiety, this time there is here and there pieces of this, but this time I feel GOD is consistantly giving us little nudges that we are on the right path.

    Thanks for your encouraging words and for sharing, you have touched my heart, I ended up with tears in my eyes when reading.

    Your little AVA is beyond beautiful, your photos as well!

    Regards & Blessings

  2. meredith and justin
    meredith and justin says:

    I really think God lead me to your blog today. I don't think I have ever been here, but I clicked over from another blog and feel so blessed by your words. We are in the Rwanda program with AGCI and just found out 2 weeks ago that we may not be able to adopt from there at least not when we want to.
    I have been so discouraged these last couple of days, feeling confused, and upset about the unknown.

    Thank you for reminding me of the blessing that will be at the end of this long and winding road. Ava is so beautiful!

  3. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    Wonderful post Melanie! I love that God's challenging of us is ONLY to draw us closer to Him, that His name be proclaimed, and that HE be glorified. It's not about us. Your precoius Ava is His, and He had you climb mountains to get her into your family for His glory! love ya!

  4. Jenna
    Jenna says:

    Thank you , thank you for sharing this today! We are at the beginning of the process and today has been one of those days where I have thought about throwing all the paperwork away. I find myself asking questions like "how will we pay for this God?" or "Are you sure you want us to do this, God". I know that I know that He has called us to adoption…thank you for reminding me that He who began a good work WILL be FAITHFUL to complete it! Ava is just beautiful…and God is already using her to touch the lives of others!

  5. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    Really beautiful Melanie. We have been changed SO much throughout this process. I keep having to remind myself that change is good. Even when the waiting is hard, the sacrifice is so worth it. We still have a lot of unknowns and blurry patches in our journey…so thankful for this bit of encouragement to press forward 😉


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