Friday, May 22, 2009

For those of you praying...

Friends, I forgot to mention that our court date which is June 10 in Ethiopia will actually be the NIGHT of June 9 for us as they are 8 hours ahead of us. So, the actual court appointment will be taking place sometime between 12 midnight and 8am here in the States. We so appreciate ALL your prayers!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It all started a year ago today...

I could not end my day here without remembering how this journey began one year ago today. On May 21, 2008, Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman lost their precious 5 year old daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident at their home. God used this event and the Chapman's honest grief and bold faith in the midst of their darkest hour to draw me closer to Himself...and thus my journey to this, our newest calling, began. In a tribute to this precious family whom we now have the privilege to call 'friends'...I share with you here the poem God put on my heart for Mary Beth, written on October 21, 2008. I hope it will encourage you and show you the depth of God's love for each of us as His children. He has a plan for us...even in our darkest hour...and He WILL redeem our suffering.

Journey to God’s Heart

How do I dare let you know,
That your pain has helped me to grow?
It seems so incredibly unfair,
That, for me, you had to walk there.

No words are enough for you now.
How I long for your pain to be gone.
I’d take it away in a moment,
Yet, with Christ, you were never alone.

Shared tears, yet I don’t really know you.
‘ Bearing your burdens’ — is that what this is?
God’s love pouring out through me…
Are the tears I have cried actually HIS?

It is true that we all are ONE body,
So it fits that your pain would be mine.
A mystery beyond understanding.
Through our tears, Christ is most able to shine.

You showed me the splendor of Jesus.
You were faithful to Him in the dark.
I will never be the same, so I thank you
for my journey to the center of God’s heart.

Written to Mary Beth Chapman and family October 21, 2008.

©Beth Hamilton, 12/29/2008
Steven and Mary Beth...what a privilege to know you and to SEE all that God is doing in and through you and your entire family. May God continue to carry you all and hold you close! We love you because HE loves you!

Hooray! We have a COURT DATE!

We are thrilled to let you know that we officially have our first court date (and hopefully our last!). God-willing, on June 10, three precious ones from Ethiopia will legally become Hamiltons! Woo! Hoo! For this step, our agency (not us) will appear in Ethiopian court on our behalf and should the judge look upon our case favorably...we will become the legal guardians of N (boy, age 7), K (boy, age 4) and K (girl, age 6 months)...and the Hamilton family will officially be SEVEN! Incredible. Exciting. Humbling. Once we pass court, we can share their beautiful Ethiopian faces and names with you here on this blog! If we do pass court June 10, we are anticipating traveling to bring them home in early August!

We would covet your prayers for this court date as many families do NOT pass court on the first try...for various reasons. Please pray specifically for the following:

Regarding our court date/travel dates:

-that the family members and witnesses required would be able to appear in court

-that all the necessary paperwork will be there and perfectly in order

-that the judge will look favorably upon our case

-that the power would stay on (I'm serious...)

-that no unforseen hurdles would appear

-that upon passing court that God would clear the way to bring our children home His perfect timing.

Regarding our ET children:

-that they would KNOW the love of Jesus through their amazing caregivers at our agency's transition home.

-that God is preparing their hearts to be a part of the Hamilton family. :) It's gonna be a WILD ride, little ones!

-that they would have peace and excitement (even in the midst of their grief) about this HUGE transition in their lives. (They have known for about 4 weeks that they have a family in America!)

-that God would give their family members deep peace about their decision to place them for KNOW that He has amazing plans for these give them a hope and a future...

Regarding our home:

-that God would allow us to put the necessary time and effort into preparing our home (and our hearts) for these little ones!

-that we would not be overwhelmed with the physical and emotional tasks before us...but would enjoy the 'miracles of each moment' with M & M as we all four prepare to receive our newest family members!

-that M&M's excitement will continue to build as we prepare our home and approach our travel dates.

Regarding others who are on this path of Ethiopian adoption:

-peace and perseverence for our fellow sojourners who have failed court (some multiple times)

-that the new 'abandonment'/potential fraud issues would be handled wisely, yet as quickly as possible, by the Ethiopian government

-that no other crises will happen to slow down the work God is doing in placing orphans in loving families.

THANK YOU all for your continued prayers and support. This is a bumpy path with many potholes, turns and twists...your prayers have kept us on track and somewhat sane! :) Below is a pic of Madi (sporting her new cool glasses) with the care packages we recently sent to our children by another family traveling to Ethiopia. (sorry, had to blot out names and photos...) It was so fun to prepare the gifts, picture and notes for our brothers and sister!

So, that's it for now...we are taking it one day at a time and we can't wait to sit back and WATCH OUR GREAT GOD at WORK! "Greater things are yet to come....greater things are still to be done in this CITY!"