Saturday, December 1, 2012

Well, the holiday season is in full swing, and while the month of November was a quick one, it has brought dramatic change to the Reichert household. Let me begin with our adoption update. Our number for the month of November is 104. We had our quarterly call this month
with our case manager, who assured us that movement was taking place, and while there is a lot of news regarding Ethiopia suspending adoptions through certain agencies, we had nothing to worry about. 
To be honest, I had big concerns to discuss with our case manager myself, and it had little to do with the country of Ethiopia. Due to some unfortunate family circumstances, Jay and I currently have a new little roommate. For his privacy and for my family’s privacy, I am choosing not to disclose sensitive information or photos over the blog, but he is a beautiful 2 year old boy, who is smart, fun, energetic, and did i mention TWO! We have all had a lot of adjusting to do, and not much time to do it in. Jay and I have jumped into parenting with both feet and are attempting our best with raising this little guy, while at the same time attempting to keep our sanity through the situation as well. We have never parented, or even babysat together, so this whole “parenting a two year old” thing is uncharted ground for us and for our marriage. I am happy to report that we are all adjusting well. The roommates (the three of us) are enjoying a lot of new nightly routines: we all eat dinner together, we read the same book every night, and we have the same nightly ritual of running around the house for about 2 hours, alternating between horsey rides, basketball, lifting up to the ceiling so he can touch it, and peek-a-boo. Truth be told, while the situation is stressful, we are enjoying the time we have with him and the education that was mandated by our adoption agency for transitioning a child into our home, has helped immensely. So many people, who are aware of this situation, have mentioned that God has a way of preparing us for such matters and we defiantly see His beautiful hands in this situation. We could really use some prayers for guidance, for changes in heart, and for a revolution in our family to occur.

Luckily, our case manager has stated that this process, no matter how long, or the end result, will not affect our adoption. We may have to have a new updated home study completed, and a few visits from a social worker, but we would need another home study prior to our Ethiopian son coming home anyways.  So, we live currently day by day, but we are learning and growing with this experience. We love on him while he is with us and we pray over him and his parents every night. And this little guy has never been to church, so along with starting daycare, he is going to start Sunday school as well. I am excited that we get to start teaching him about Jesus around the holiday season and Jesus's birthday.

So, in preparation, I made the little guy an advent calendar! I always had one growing up and began to learn about the CHRIST in Christmas through each scripture verse and little treat I received through the month of December. So, I scanned the beloved Pintrest site and found
one I thought was pretty good, and one which could be used year after year with whomever the Lord blesses us with. Here is the finished product:

Not only did I include a daily scripture versus with a little toy or candy treat, but I also included weekly family activities and outings, as well as good deeds to be done for others. I am hoping that each little present opened teaches all of us a little bit more about Jesus, love, and hope (something we are clinging too a lot lately). 

So, the last couple of Ethiopian education spotlights have been a bit long. I can't help it though, researching this country and people is so interesting to me! It's like graduate school, I was really good at the neuro stuff because that was what I loved to research! The other stuff...well I needed it, but I didn't spend as much time as with the neuro section. Researching Ethiopia is just the same. I spend actually a lot of time looking up my educational pieces, not only for Jay and I and whoever else decides to keep reading after our updates, but also for our son someday. We want to be able to give him as much information about his life  and country before he met us as possible. And when he asks me, "Mom, how big is Ethiopia", this is what I am going to say to him....

Well son, Ethiopia is just almost twice the size of Texas! In fact, it is the 27th largest country when it comes to area, with a total of 1,104,300 square kilometers. The country is completely land locked with Kenya to the South, Somalia to the East, Djibouti and Eritrea to the Northeast, and Sudan to the West.

Short, simple, and complete.