sharing… our journey. our story. our lives

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

Adoption Update and Support Letter

Dear family and friends,

I want to come right out and say, this is a support letter. You are about to be asked, again, to help two children, stuck for over two years in an orphanage, to finally come home to their new Forever Family. We love you all, and we need your help…

Major things have happened in our adoption process in the last week and a half. Two weeks ago we would have told you that it appeared it was time for us to move on, that the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs responsible for declaring the adoptability of orphaned/relinquished children in the region where our two kids are is unwilling to sign any paperwork. In fact over the last year, very few adoptions within this region, (the largest region in ET), have been finalized, thus bringing to a halt much of the revenue these orphanages need to feed and clothe their children and pay their staff, and many orphanages have shut down altogether. So, when we got the call on December 10th that our paperwork from the Ministry’s regional office had just been signed we were in shock. Time to do work!

What happens after this regional MoWA letter is signed is the issuance and acceptance of an official Adoption Referral. Along with the referral come more forms and filings as well as a sizable referral/acceptance fee. Now, with all that was, or, really wasn’t happening, with the MoWA office over the last year, our last fundraising effort we did was back in June. At that point we had already saved/raised about $25K and paid in about $10K, leaving us now with $15K, allotted for the bulk of the final fees, including the large referral fee. Beyond this, we would need to save/raise funds for airfare. Once Jamie and I receive an official court date in Ethiopia we will fly to Addis Abbaba, the capital.  There we will get to meet these two beautiful children for the first time, as well as appear in court. Upon, (Lord willing) passing court we will actually be sent home while our case is investigated by the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia. Upon receiving clearance from the Embassy, (this can take a couple months), we will fly back over, pick up our son and daughter and fly aaaaaaaaaall the way back home to Tacoma, Washington, where the real work of transition, attachment, bonding, language learning and, in general, raising our two new children to mature adulthood will actually begin. The reality is, this phase we are in, and have been in for the last three years, is really just the prequel to the main story about to begin.

What is our need? Airfare is going to be a large expense with the need for Jamie and I to fly there and back twice, and on that second trip, to bring home our new son and daughter. That’s four round trip and two one-way international plane tickets. We are estimating this cost to be as much as $10K. However, along with receiving our referral on December 19th, we were surprised to see that the fee for accepting the referral for two children was not the approximate $15K like we thought, but actually $24K. We were not expecting this. The process of adopting internationally is a thick, thick process, especially when drawn out over 3 years. We’re not sure where the breakdown in our calculating and estimating occurred, but, bottom line: we are short. We thought we would just be raising support, in two separate phases: the first trip, then the second trip. We thought we were in a good place, but apparently we are about $9K short before airfare.

Can you please help us?  Even though we find ourselves up against what seems to be an insurmountable obstacle, we are remembering how we got this far and how it all started. This adoption actually wasn’t our idea. It was God’s idea. He worked to create space in our hearts for more kids when we were otherwise done. Also, not just Jamie and I, but Lily and Beau have, from the first mention three years ago, been fully on board. And the funds saved and rose thus far? All credit to God, who works in miraculous ways to move hearts and funds, for his glory and for the good of many. We have so many stories!

We will be contacting our Agency on Monday, 12/22 to see how we can move forward in accepting this referral with the funds we have available now,  and then make up the difference as soon as possible. Would you be able to help us?

We can actually accept tax-deductible charitable donations, by sending a check to our local agency, Adoption Ministry of YWAM. The instructions are easy but very specific. Click here for the instructions. Does your employer do matching funds for charitable giving? Again, Adoption Ministry of YWAM is a registered 501(c)(3), and can issue tax deductible receipts to you and your employer. Now is perfect timing for a year end donation. Another simple way of donating is by mailing us a check directly, (mailing address below), or by clicking our “donate” button on the side column of our blog. You can get there by clicking here. Again, to be clear, giving to Adoption Ministry is the only tax-deductible option. Now, in the past, some have wanted to donate a larger amount, but had to break it up into smaller, monthly increments. We definitely need funds now to pay this referral acceptance fee, but we will also have airfare, travel, and miscellaneous costs ahead of us in the next few months. Maybe you can give $25, $100, or even $200/month over the next 3 or 4 months. That would be a HUGE help!

Do you have other family or friends, or know other entities that would support our cause? Invite them into the story. Jesus told his disciples that one day he would return in glory with his angels and those whom he knew would be characterized by faith, hope and love that spilled out in acts of grace and mercy to the forgotten, the outsiders, the “least of these”. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” A brother and sister, 8,400 miles away in a small orphanage need you to act. Just like you, these two are made in the very image of God, the Imago Dei. Just like you, they matter to God. Please help us bring them home. And when they do get home, and we come out from hiding, we will call on you again, because we need you.  After all, it takes a big, loving community to raise a child.

Thank you for the love and support you’ve already shown this family.

Very Truly,

Kyle, Jamie, Lily and Beau


2905 South 7th Street

Tacoma, WA 98405


Paperwork Prayers

We haven’t taken a hike on the adoption paperwork mountain in months. With the arrival of our Referral letter just days away we’ve laced up our boots and started climbing. I just had an hour long battle with our printer. After prayer, new ink, paper jams, lost wifi connections and more prayer it’s finally printing. Please pray for peace, strength, wisdom and perseverance. This mountain is rugged, but our kids are up there.
Thanks in advance!
-Kyle and the Team

Merry Christmas


Happy Advent!
Advent refers to the anticipation of the coming of a significant person, thing, or event, and there is so much anticipation around Christmas. And anticipation gets mingled this time of year with words like busy, and stress, and phrases like, hustle and bustle. When was the last time you or I stopped, took a deep breath, turned off the radio, TV and our phones and asked ourselves honestly just what it is that we are anticipating this Christmas? Many of us anticipate sweet reunion with family and friends, the joy on a loved one’s face upon opening that perfect gift. For some it is the anticipation of arguments and the reopening of old wounds, loneliness, or maybe a few extra unwanted holiday pounds. Many of us recognize that we live in a world that is broken. Where my family and I live, we don’t even have to open the door to look for brokenness, we hear it through the walls of our house. Belligerent, careless, vile, and desperate are the voices that puncture our walls in the very late hours. Even from within the walls of our home can be heard, now and again, the brokenness of a careless word. Can the pillars of anticipation be such things as hope, joy, and peace?

Two thousand years ago, God’s people in the Near East and throughout lived with an anticipation of the coming of Messiah- the Rescuer- the one who would heal, who would set things right, who would deliver from the hand of oppressive rulers and establish a rule of peace and prosperity.

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight…” Stop, and let us imagine. Imagine a midnight light, so bright in the sky, that it could only be the terrifying and blinding, majestic light of the messengers of Almighty God. And that it is. Angels! Filling the night sky with glory as they hover above the earth in triumphant song, announcing the arrival of the long anticipated Messiah. He’s here! He’s there, in Bethlehem, in a stable, wrapped in cloths.

Tell me you wouldn’t sprint. Tell me you wouldn’t unlock some hidden strength and stamina dormant till this very moment when at last your greatest desire is right there, just over that hill. Tell me you wouldn’t squeal, just a little. Tell me you wouldn’t heelclick. Tell me you wouldn’t EXPLODE! It’s Christmas! He’s here! He’s here! He’s here!


Love has come. Peace has come.
Hope and Joy and life everlasting have come.
Run. Run. Run! With all your longings and deepest desires.
With all your fears and trepidation, and all your fragile hope.
Run! Don’t stop. Don’t slow down. Don’t look right or left.
All that you need, all that you desire is finally here.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, wherever you’ve been,
Run to Love Incarnate. Run to Jesus.

Happy Advent, and Merry Christmas!
I actually hadn’t planned on a two-part Christmas letter, but…

The day after writing Part One, I got a call while scooping gutters atop my customer’s roof- this happens all the time. I hit the button on my earbuds to answer the call and continued scooping. The voice on the other end belonged to the director of our adoption agency, Joy. We greeted each other and she advised me that she had just received “interesting news” from the in-country adoption agency in Ethiopia…

Two years ago today (December 12th, 2014) I got a call while on a ladder cleaning windows. It was Joy, calling to inform me of two children in Ethiopia, a brother and sister, who needed a family and would we be interested. They were 7 years and 3 weeks old. “Yes!” I told her. An hour later, about to drive away from my customer’s house, I received an email with their names and most precious of all, photos. I stared at their names and faces. They were beautiful. That was a long two years ago…
We started this adoption journey three years ago with great anticipation, even though we were warned about the nature of adoption’s slowdowns and obstacles. But when Joy told us this Fall that we were the longest waiting family our agency had ever worked with and that they weren’t seeing any signs that the region of Oromia would be signing any papers in the foreseeable future and we should consider moving on to children from a different region, we felt as if we were being asked to decide whether or not to pull the life support plug of not one, but two of our loved ones. We were not anticipating news like that. Thus began a season of grief and uncertainty, not knowing how or what to pray. As Christians we believe in a God who is sovereign in all things and who works in all things to bring his children to a closer, stronger, more sure and more satisfying dependency on him. So, without answers, clarity, or direction-but with hope, we grieved and prayed on…

Interesting news? I dropped my scoop in the bucket hanging from the gutter trough and sat back on the roof. “Interesting news” could mean anything and I didn’t feel like multi-tasking. Joy informed me that the letter we’d been waiting over a year for, that identifies our kids as officially “adoptable”, the letter that would propel us forward into the final stages of our adoption process had finally been written and signed, and were we ready to pick up where we left off… Blink. Blink. Gulp. “Yes. Yes, of course!”
Advent the anticipation of a significant person or event…. We don’t know if or what kind of obstacles may cross the final lengths of our adoption journey, but with great anticipation and joy we are pressing on. Will you join us on this journey? I can’t imagine the spiritual opposition against the coming of Christ one “Silent Night” long ago. And against such Gospel imaging works as adoption, there will be great opposition, we’ve seen it already. We need your prayers, your encouragement, your wisdom and support. We would welcome any chance to listen and talk with you, our friends and family. After all, our family has always needed the love and support of our family and friends. We would also like to ask you to consider giving an end of year donation to our adoption fund. Although it’s still months away, we have airfare costs estimating around $10,000, (2 trips to ET= 4 roundtrip & 2 one way tickets). Instructions on how to donate are included on a separate card.
When I get the chance to see these two beautiful kids in person, I probably won’t sprint. This meeting will be a delicate one. But in my heart, there will be sprinting, there will indeed be heel clicking and, yes, a joyous squeal.

I know this year’s letter didn’t include a full family update. Let’s get together; we’d love to see you!

Happy Advent, and Merry Christmas!

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