Dear Family and Friends,
Happy New Year to you all! We hope this letter finds you well!
We wanted to send you a letter since there have been some significant changes with our adoption.
First of all we can't thank you enough for your support and prayers in our efforts to adopt from Ethiopia. We have felt so loved, encouraged, and blessed by all of you! Unfortunately, since March of last year the process has not been going well. At that time Ethiopia virtually shut down their adoption program due to corruption and has reduced the number of inter-country adoptions by 90%.
When we first heard the news about 9 months ago we were hoping and praying that the program would open back up. It has not. The process is moving, but very slow. When we decided to begin the adoption process over a year ago, we were told that we would have our child home by the end of 2011. However, due to the recent changes in Ethiopia the wait is now approximately 3-4 years. We have dear friends that have chosen to wait, with the hope that the process will speed up. In our case we have been praying fervently asking God for direction, wisdom, and peace about which direction to take. After much prayer we have decided to end our adoption journey. We feel like this is the right decision for our family at this time in our lives but will always be open to whatever God may have in the future for us in regards to growing our family.
Over this last year we have fallen in love with Ethiopia, made amazing new friends along the way, and have seen first hand how loved we are by friends like you. Most of all God has opened our eyes and hearts to the plight of orphans all over the world and we will continue to help them and fight for them. In honor of Nahla we have begun to sponsor a little girl from Ethiopia and look forward to sponsoring more orphans and children living in extreme poverty. We will not forget them!
What God is doing now and what we have to look forward to in 2012 is already remarkable:
• We've sponsored more children in Ethiopia.
• All the finances that were donated by you went to America World Adoption which is an amazing non profit organization that helps to find children homes from all over the world and also brings teams to visit, and bring love to orphans (Visitingorphans.org)
• Ministry doors have flung wide open for us in the area of purity, accountability, speaking and ministering to other couples
• (I.E. we are starting 6 more men’s accountability groups in 2012)
• Nikki and I have the honor of leading worship at our church
• Josiah continues to be a wonderful source of love and ministry for us
So with our plate full and hearts at peace with where God has us at this time we want to give thanks to all of you for everything you have done to help us with our adoption! For those of you who supported us financially, We know that you gave to us with the purpose of your money going to our adoption. Your money was sent to America World (our adoption agency) before the significant changes and slowdowns happened in March. We would like to send you your donation back since we are no longer adopting in case you would like to use it for another purpose. Those of you that helped us with our yard sale we'd like you to know that all that money was also given to America World Adoption for our cost of the initial phase and that donation has blessed the organization to keep it going.
Thank you again for your prayers and support and the blessing you have all been to us through this journey.
We love you all,
Jared, Nikki and Josiah.