The road you must take is not an easy one, but the Treasure is worth it!
God is the one who saves me. I trust him. I am not afraid. Isaiah 12:2

The Rein Family

Friday, March 23, 2012

We Cleared!!

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:5
Our file was approved in Nairobi so we are cleared to travel!!! We are so excited to pick our baby girl up and bring her home!!!

I mean look at this girl...doesn't get much cuter than that!!! We are so thankful that God chose her for our family!! We leave next Thursday so that means in one week I will be holding my baby girl!! Yippee!!!! We have been praying we would have her home by her birthday and we will actually be in Ethiopia ON her birthday April 4th...Love it!! Praising God for working out all the details!!

So I have to share a funny story (not so funny yesterday but funny today):
Since Feb. 1st (the day our file was submitted to the US Embassy) I have woken up every morning wondering if we have an email saying our case has been approved. So yesterday was just like every other morning over the past couple months I wake up run downstairs and check my email. I noticed that I had received 2 emails that had been returned to sender because my inbox was full. Both emails were from USCIS in Nairobi, Kenya (the emails I had been waiting for) RETURNED TO SENDER. So you might be wondering how could I let me inbox get to full capacity? Well when I delete the emails on my phone they don't delete from my email account so I have to go online to delete them. My email admin had sent me an email a couple weeks ago saying I was getting close and I totally forgot to delete them. Well of course I start frantically deleting emails hoping they would resend but NOTHING. So I emailed USCIS (twice) and the Vice Consul in Ethiopia to let them know what happened so they would resend the emails. Since the time difference is 8 hours ahead of us they had all left for the day. About 4 hours later I finally get an email from the the Vice Consul letting me know that we were cleared!! The cool thing is that since the Vice Consul email directly we already received our Embassy appointment which usually takes a coupe days. Love how God took this gliche and turned it into something good.
Mason is memorizing Psalm 100 at school and it is so right for this point in our journey.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100

Please continue to pray for us as we travel and transition together as a family. Thank you so much for your support and prayers!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

$7 for our 7th - A Charity Project

Our sweet friends Nick & Jessica are adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia and they need your help bringing him home. Click on the link below and find out how you can help them for ONLY $7!!! They have an awesome story that is well worth reading. Just do it!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Not Clearly to Nairobi

We received an email this morning from the Embassy that said, "We regret to inform you that the Consular Section has determined that your Form I-600 Petition to Classify Alien as an Immediate Relative is not clearly approvable." They have sent our file to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Office (USCIS) in Nairobi, Kenya for them to review our case. It can take 30 days but some of the families we know have been approved in 2 weeks. We finally have movement...this is such an answer to prayer!! Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rough Week

I miss my girl!!! I have felt emotionally drained this week. Every morning I wake up run downstairs and check my email to see if the Embassy has cleared our case. It has been 5 weeks since our paperwork was submitted and so far NOTHING!! I email them every week for an update and the generic response I receive in return is so depressing. I'm ready to pick her up, hold her and have our family together.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Daddy Daughter Dance

Tonight is the Daddy Daughter Dance at Northland Church and this is the 3rd year Clay has taken Lyla Grace. This event is etched in her mind as the best night of her life. She told me earlier this week "Mommy at the dance I get to eat junk and be with Daddy! I can't wait!" Part of the excitement during the week is picking out her special dress (this year my mom made 2 to pick from) and talking about how she is going to wear her hair. My cousins wife shared a picture on Facebook about a month ago where she had curled her daughters hair with Bantu knots. Well I googled it and found out how to make it happen :) It was so easy and her hair was in beautiful ringlets (for 2 days). Here it is before she went to bed.
Here is her hair after
 She was so excited to have curly hair!!!!
All of the dads and girls went to eat pizza before the dance.

 Lyla Grace dancing with her friends
 Three besties!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nice Serve

Every 3 months our church serves the people of Orlando alongside organizations in our community. Today we teamed up with Greenup, an organization that helps keep the community parks and other public areas clean and usable. Almost 2,000 partners at our church went out and served this morning. Our kids loved helping and it was great to be able to serve together as a family.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

So fun

Over the past couple weeks I have been able to go on 2 field trips with my kiddos :) I know this doesn't seem like a big deal but to this momma who has felt like I have missed out on my kids school life lately it is a very big deal!!
I went with Mason's class to the Orlando Science Center and had so much fun getting to know his little friends.
 Mason got so excited touching the snake that he almost walked off with it...until the lady used her stern I don't think so voice. The funniest part about it was that he was shocked she wouldn't let him actually carry it around.

 This week I went to Green Meadows farm with Lyla Grace's class.
 I was so surprised to see how much she loved the animals. She is usually such a girly girl and doesn't really like to get dirty. She was running around catching ducks, chickens and bunnies.
 Lyla Grace and her sweet friend holding a baby duck.
 Milking a cow
After working part time last Fall I am so appreciative of the time I do get to spend with my kiddos. Thankful God was able to teach me the lesson that every moment spent with them is a gift!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy and Healthy

 We received an update from a friend in Ethiopia that Ada is happy and healthy :) Love hearing that she is being loved on and is feeling good!!
We were also notified by the US Embassy that they need more information from our agency. I guess this is what "they" do before her case is sent to Kenya for further review. Well at least that is what has been happening to most cases before being cleared for a visa. A little frustrating but also exciting that they are actually doing something. Each day I feel like we are getting a little closer to bringing her home :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I feel so thankful for all of my little Valentine's today!! I mean aren't they just the most precious things you have ever seen :) 

 Look at that mouth full of teeth!!
 So thankful for her and thanking God that we listened to his call...just think we could have missed this!!
Wanted to capture all of my Valentine's before we piled in the car for school (we were late because of this...oops) but well worth it because it is so hard to get all of them together. Lyla Grace wanted Ada in the picture so she held up the Valentine she made her.

Most of all today I am thankful for God's love for us!!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Teacher in Training

I love my sweet girl Lyla!!! When she comes home from school she counts down the minutes until Tate's nap time so she can play "baby class". She makes name tags to place on the carpet for "Circle time", she says the pledge, reads them a story and they sing songs...everyday for the last few months! Sometimes they even do art projects. I'm so thankful for her excitement and enthusiasm!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We were submitted to Embassy

We are praising the Lord today...our case was finally submitted to the US Embassy!!! So you are probably wondering when we can bring her home (we are too). We have been told by our agency that in the next 2 weeks we should here from the Embassy via email telling us that they have received our case and it is being reviewed. Once they have reviewed our case they will write us to tell us one of the following things:

  • We clear immediately and can come pick her up.
  • They need more information and will conduct interviews and investigate our case
  • They determine our case is "not clearly approvable"and then forward our case to the USCIS office in Nairobi, Kenya for further review.
Once it is clear to the Embassy or USCIS that they have enough information they will issue her US visa and we will be able to bring Ada home. The time frame could be anywhere from 2 weeks to several months.
We are so thankful that we have made it to this point in the process to bring her home. I went to an adoption retreat over the weekend and one of the speakers talked about waiting. It was interesting to hear that the spanish word esperar not only means "to wait" but it means "to hope for" and "to expect". I found that so comforting and it gave me a new excitement about "the waiting". Yes every moment of her life that we are missing while she is in Ethiopia makes us sad but there is so much hope. I was reading my bible and looking for scripture on hope. "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength" Isaiah 40:31 So what does it mean to hope in the Lord? To hope means having trust and patience. Trust involves confidence in God's power to deliver and faith that he will keep his promises. Hoping in the Lord also implies the patience to wait for God's promises since God works according to his own timing. In a few months we are going to have our precious baby girl home with us and there is so much HOPE in that!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another week passes...

I'm guessing since we didn't here from our agency today it means another week has passed and our paperwork has still not been submitted to Embassy. God has given me so much peace about our situation this week and I'm so thankful!!! We so want her here but trust that God knows when is best.  My sweet friend Tammy is in Ethiopia right now and sent some great pictures of Ada (i think her top 2 teeth are poking out) thankful she is growing and smiling!!!

I'm so excited to be going to the Created for Care adoption retreat this weekend in Atlanta. It will be great to learn more about adoption and meet some other families who are going through the exact same thing.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may over flow" Romans 15:13

Monday, January 16, 2012

Still nothing!!

It has been almost 11 weeks since we were in Ethiopia and our paperwork has still not been submitted to the US Embassy. Praying that I will understand God's timing and continue to trust Him. We have received several new pictures from a few families who have traveled recently and are so thankful for that :)

 She is getting teeth!!
She is pulling up!!

It has been so hard to miss these milestones but it has been so nice to have an awesome support system!! The families I have met through our agency have been amazing and so encouraging!!! One friend emailed me last week and reminded me that God loves these babies like was nice to be reminded of the bigger picture. This is not about me and God has an awesome plan that I feel so blessed to be a part of. I was sent an encouraging card this week with a bible verse that reminds me:
            The LORD your God is with you,
            He is mighty to save,
            He will take great delight in you,
            He will quiet you with His love,
            He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I feel so thankful today that I'm a mommy to 4 of God's children. Looking so forward to the day we are all together and praising Him for the process!!!

Catching up

So life has gotten in the way yet again and I haven't been able to keep up with a lot of things...blogging is one of them. And since I keep this blog in hopes of having it made into a book for my kids one day it is important for me to catch up!!!

Lyla Grace had her school Christmas pageant. She was an angel and took the performance very seriously :) Love hearing her sing about Jesus...melts my heart!!!

We went camping with the Wright's at Disney's Ft. Wilderness campground. The kids LOVE it!!

 Carter and Mason 
 Our 10 person tent
 Mason roasting marshmallows with Chip & Dale
Group pic with the kids chowing down on some Smores

We celebrated Mason's 7th birthday. We went to the mall for lunch and some playtime at Pottery Barn Kids (for some reason they think that is the coolest thing to do??). I was able to capture a picture with all 3 kids looking at the camera...rare moment!!
 That night we went to the Armstrong's for a wonderful dinner and some cupcakes!

 Kendall, Lyla Grace & Brooke
Garrett, Jonas & Tate

Then it was off to Nashville for some Christmas fun!!! 
 Yes everyone is looking at the camera...AMAZING!!
 Cookie decorating with Nanna (a Christmas tradition)

 Christmas morning
 Tate loved his new cars
 Hard to get the cousins to pose...too excited about Wii Star Wars game
The girls :)

One of the best things about going home to Nashville is catching up with my girlfriends. We have been friends since elementary school and this was the first time in years we have all been together at the same time with all of our kids. Among the 5 of us we have 10 kids (only 9 pictured missing sweet Ada).

Jamie, Tanil, me, Courtney & Steph
It is hard to believe that we have been friends for almost 30 years...crazy!!!

My most favorite place to be in Nashville is Radnor Lake. I have so many good memories hiking with my mom growing up. The kids love exploring so we met my brother's family for a cold windy day.

 watching the waterfall
skipping rocks

Love this hard to get all of the cousins together!!! Makes me excited to think the next time we are all together Ada will be with us!!!!