Welcome. This is part of our story about how God is building our family through adoption and teaching us about HIS family. Going through this process is giving us more understanding about how He has adopted us. We are HIS children, still growing and maturing and developing in our relationship with Him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday & Monday

Sorry no photos yet... we are going to have to buy a USB drive over here because we are using the Guest House computer (which we are grateful).

We picked Ephraim up yesterday a.m. at the Transition home and gave a hug to Sisay (Silas),who was walking laps around his crib. Afterward Dan, Madeline, Epraim and I took a 2+ hour van ride through the country side to the Gorge with Zebene and Emanuel. It was a beautiful ride. The Gorge is Huge. Can't really describe it. No safety rails though...just walk right up to the edge...CAREFULLY :) ! The baboons had gone off for the the day so we didn't get to see them but it was okay... Still amazing view.

We also toured an Orthodox Christian Monastery with some beautiful stained glass windows and interesting paintings. They have a representation of the Ark of the Covenant behind the Holy of Holies, reserved only for the priest. Men to the right for worship and women behind a curtain at the left or stay to the back with the center squared off for singing and taking the Eucharist.

We picked up Sisay on the way home. His nanny had tears in her eyes as she handed him over to us. She took very good care of him and loved on him a lot.

We came back to the guest house, had dinner, baths and bed. Oh, there was an after wedding ceremony that took place in the dinning hall here when we arrived back. Neat to see the wedding party arrive. My understanding is that the grooms family gives the bride a new name and they cut the cake and have a mini celebration before they leave the bride and groom for the night. It was a big day. Sisay didn't think he wanted to go to bed but once asleep, he slept the whole night. Much better than Dan and I. Our room is very comfortable but at night the muslem prayers are being broadcasted from different mosques all around the city all night long. Certain tones seem to set off the dogs off and them there is an orchestra of barking.

We went to American Embassy this a.m. and all went well ! There was a little Tykes play area for waiting which Sisay and Ephraim really liked. Sisay gave his first protest as he had to leave the play house but was quickly distracted and ready to move on.  We are having some quiet /down time now as we wait for lunch. Plan to go shopping this afternoon.

Hopefully photos later!!!
p.s. Mom, you can send me an email on how things are going there and I can check it later. Hope you are all doing well. Lots and Lots of Love to each of you. xoxo Toby and Mae :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

We Made It!

Hi All!
Wanted to put out a quick note to let you know we made it to Ethiopia safely and without any hitches.  We haven't caught up on sleep yet though and should be sleeping now.  We picked up Ephraim this morning and went on a day long excursion (hopefully more on that later).  Following that we picked up little Sisay.  We have them both and just finished eating some pizza.  Our embassy interview is early tomorrow morning so I'm going to sign off for now.  God is good.  More later!
Good Night!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yahooo! We Cleared !

The news we have been waiting for arrived this morning!!!! Both boys have been cleared for us to come pick them up !!!! Hallelujah! Our God is Awesome !

Can I tell you the leading of the Lord? 
On Wednesday as we drove home from Dan's hometown... I told Dan that a resolve had come over me and it was time - Time to get the boys home. Then Saturday, I woke up with these words to a song in my mind - "I love the Lord for He heard my cry and He delivered me." We prayed again with our church family yesterday, declaring the word of the Lord over Sisay and the situation. And last night it THUNDERED... The Lord moved things in the heavenly places. Oh... I love the Lord!

Please keep us in your prayers as we make travel plans. I will try to keep you posted. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

6 a.m. Skype

Saw and heard my sweet boys this a.m. I so want to transport them through the screen home to us. With the language barrier and no guarantees on when we can travel - I look into Ephraim's face on the computer and want to offer him some kind of assurance that we have not forgotten him and WILL come to get him. All I keep saying is "I Love You! and I miss you!" and smile big so that the picture he has in his mind of me is a smiling Mommy that loves him.
We saw Sisay(Silas) wiggling in his brothers lap... and take a few steps. Yep, since we were there back in October he has started to toddle / walk. I am so happy and sad at the same time. I am glad my little man is growing and progressing and so sad that we were not the ones with him, celebrating his first steps...and the ones picking him up and kissing him when he tumbled.

Please stand with us in prayer that this glitch in our Embassy process is cleared - even this week. We wait to hear a favorable response from the Embassy early Monday or Tuesday. (I added the favorable - :o) in hope and faith). Thanks for your support.

Bless the Lord. Sharing photos from the past year.

Our First glimpse of Sisay. Those deep eyes set us Snyder girls up to fall in love.

What a little over a month of good nourishment can do for our little guy. Our family photo is in the background.

This was back in the Fall. Happy guy and seemed to be well loved by the Nannies when we were there in Oct. We say he looks like a party waiting to happen. :o)
Most recent photo of Sisay (Silas) and Ephraim. My heart aches to have them home with us.

Where are the smiles? Lord bring them home!
One of our Referral pictures of Ephraim. SWEET.

Ephraim being told he has a family that wants to adopt him. He is looking at a photo book of us that we sent to him. It amazes me to think what he has had to process in the last years of his life.

Blowing bubbles at his orphanage with our director's daughter on one of their visits.

All of God's children are precious in His sight. I am so thankful he has brought us together, and He is faithful to complete what He has started in us. If God is for us, who can stand against us. I love the Lord!
Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Father, with a thankful heart I receive Your benefits today and everyday on behalf of my family. Bless the Lord.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bless those you love.

Well... we are waiting. What can I say???
There is still a delay, BUT God's timing is perfect. I've had several people tell me that earlier this week, and I know it is true...but it is not always easy.

Dan's Dad passed away today, and as much as I wanted to be on a flight leaving for Ethiopia earlier this week... I can not imagine if we had left and then received this news in another country. I am so glad we are here with family to say our goodbyes to a wonderful father and grandfather.

I am going to leave it at that. Words seem to get jumbled up right now. I love ALL my children. I love my Ethiopian boys. I love my Husband...and I love my Father-n-Law. Bless you and all those you love.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


We got bittersweet news this week. The Embassy cleared one of the boys but not the other. We had permission to go next week to pick up the one child only... but we will wait for both. 

There has been further documentation requested. I am trusting in the Lord to resolve the case; to produce the paperwork or dissolve the situation. God is excellent in these situations. He is a perfect Judge and Father.  He Defends and Redeems. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. He knows exactly what to do.

If you think I am getting preachy... you are right. I am preaching to myself... encouraging my heart to stand on the truth... to not be led by how the situation looks but by the Spirit and the knowledge of who my Father is and what I can count on because if God is for us who can stand against us.
Until then ... we wait and pray.
Bless you today to know who your Father is and what you can count on because you are HIS.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Merry Christmas in Ethiopia!

That's right! Jan 7th is Christmas in Ethiopia. Today many people in Ethiopia celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ by going to church in traditional dress called a shamma, which is white with colorful stripe on the ends, and eating a special meal together with family. 

I think our adoption agency had a special day for them planned for the children at the Transition house today.

In 12 more days - Jan 19th, Ethiopia celebrates 'Timkat' - the baptism of Jesus. 
Again, adults wear traditional clothing. Kids wear crowns and robes. People create a procession to the church with music, instruments and the priest carry fringed umbrellas. There is a church service and a meal followed by games.

Interestingly, neither of these holidays are typically celebrated by gift giving but with worship, eating and playing games.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tears at breakfast

I got a text this a.m. that the other couple we traveled with in October for the court date just got notified that they are cleared to come get their boys!!!! This wonderful news came EARLY...and right on time. I am so thrilled! Celebrating with them. Woo Hoo! Today is Thursday and they begin their trip to Ethiopia on Sunday!

and then...it hit me our case review is scheduled for this coming Monday and my emotions overflowed. We are going to have Ephraim and Silas home SOON.  This 2 year journey, praying, filling out paperwork, waiting, photos, waiting, praying, visiting and waiting again... will be coming to fruition in just a little while. Like giving birth from a 2 year pregnancy.

I think I will try to fit Silas' car seat in our van today...go through clothes for packing and make a list or two. Time to get ready to be ready!

So THANKS Lord, for the tears at breakfast as you quickened my spirit to realize our time is very soon.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"I love you, Mom and Dad"

Sweet words indeed! We skyped with Ephraim and Silas on Sat. morning. The connection was a bit shaky but the words "I love you, Mom and Dad." came through loud and clear from Ephraim.

The Nanny put Silas (Sisay) in front of the camera, and he had no idea what was going on but we got to see his busy little self reaching and looking around.

How it delights all of us to get a glimpse of them even for a few moments! Mmmm!