Monday, March 25, 2013

We are so thankful for the donations that continue to come in!

Last night we shared our pictures and stories of our trip to Ethiopia with our church family. It isn't very fun seeing yourself in pictures but it was so great to share pictures of Bereket with our church family.

Update - on Friday we received word from a family in Ethiopia that our son and other children whose families have passed court were loaded in a van and taken to the Embassy for visa pictures. That means they are one step closer to coming home.

Thank you for praying with us and may you know the Victory of Jesus this Easter!

Sam & Diane


Friday, March 22, 2013

God has blessed us in so many ways and we are so thankful for everyone who has followed our journey so far.

Please take a couple of minutes to visit our link: http:/
Please pass it on to as many people as you can.

We appreciate all the love and prayers of those who followed our journey.

Sunday night 5:p.m. at the First Church of God we will show some of our slides and share about our trip, we would love for you to share this time with us.

Blessings, Sam & Diane

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Praise Jesus, we made it home!!!

We boarded our plane in Washington DC only to find weather in Chicago gave us an hour and half delay, which means we sat on the plane for that 1 hour and half before we took off. I would rather be safe than sorry.

We landed in Chicago, retrieved our luggage, found our shuttle and headed home.
We arrived back in Nappanee around 9:35 p.m. Monday evening with a warm welcome from our kids.

We shared a few experiences with them before a hot shower and a warm bed.

Thank you so much for all your love and prayers.
This concludes our first adventure to Ethiopia.

Many of you are asking, when will we be able to bring Bereket home.

We have been told our paper work should be submitted to the US Embassy in Nairobi Kenya a week after our court date, so please pray for expediency.

We have been told this process will take between 4 & 8 weeks.
As soon as we hear something we will let you know plans for our next adventure to Ethiopia.

Blessings, Sam & Diane

Monday, March 18, 2013

                            Playing a game of Checkers, I think Bereket won! 
Sunday afternoon was very difficult telling our son good-bye and that we would be back as soon as we can to bring him home.
We are praying the U.S. Embassy will work quickly for us and the other families who have gained legal custody of their children this past week.

We ate dinner at the guest house and then left for the airport.

The airport in Ethiopia is one INTERESTING experience, especially when you don't speak the language and English is hard to come by.

We can say we have been to Rome, well at least for an hour. Our plane landed in Rome to refuel at 3:00 a.m., I am very thankful for that.

We finally made it to Washington DC, 17 hours later on one plane, Eeeh!
All in all the ride went pretty well.

It took us almost two hours to get through customs, re-checking and security.

We are now waiting for our flight to Chicago.
At this point, we can't wait to get home.

Thank you again for your prayers and our safe & healthy travel so far.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Yesterday another family from the states joined us, it was awesome to see them bond with their little girl. They will be first time parents and it is so exciting to see them go through all the challenges of adoption.
Yesterday morning our group went shopping to some street shops. In order to be a successful shopper you need to know how to haggle for a good price and you need to learn when to say no as part of the haggling process. From our previous experience when you are willing to say no on your final price the vendor will seek you out and meet your bottom dollar. We bought a few Ethiopian treasures that we hope will be a part of Bereket's life.
Today we fly out and the emotions of leaving our son behind are already setting in. We never dreamed it would this hard to leave our son here. He is being well cared for, however we have bonded and he part of us. I have gotten a closer glimpse into the pain God the Father felt when he left His Son here on earth to rescue me!
This experience has shown me like no other experience the amazing love God has for me!

This morning we are preparing to go to church and experience the International Evangelical Church the children from the transition house attend. We are praying for our church family in Nappanee today. The cool thing is that here in Ethiopia we are 7 hours ahead of the time in Indiana and our prayers will be in preparation for God's blessing and Spirit to flow as you gather in His name!

Please pray for Bereket!
Pray the Embassy will move swiftly!
- We are told most Embassy visits, that is when we will be able to come back to get our son, takes about 4 - 8 weeks.
Pray for our travel safety and protection as we leave tonight.

Thank you for your prayers, it is obvious to us of God's favor because of you!

Blessings, Sam

Friday, March 15, 2013

Yesterday was one of the most emotional days I can remember for a long time. We had the privilege of meeting Bereket's father. We were able to spend about a half hour with him. He shared with us about Bereket's mom and her passing, he told us about when he was a little boy.
Diane and I sat with tears in our eyes as we heard from a man who loved his son so much he was willing to give him up so he could have a better life. When we were done talking with him he could not  tell us how much he appreciated us for adopting his son. I can't imagine what he was feeling.
We were able to exchange some pictures and he hugged us both so tight and so long it was unmistakable how much this man cared for his son.
After our visit with him he was given time to spend with is son, which most likely would be his last time to see him. As we pulled out of the Transition home in our van, every person in the van was crying as Bereket sat on his father's lap, talking and sharing love. It was an awesome sight to see Bereket blowing bubbles with a large wand, his dad looked on with a huge smile on his face.
Thank God for loving Father's!!!

Last night we had the opportunity to go to a tradition Ethiopian dinner. One of the staples in the Ethiopian culture is "Injera Bread". It is a sponge like flat bread with a sour-dough taste. A person uses their hands to tear off a piece and scoop up various meats, sauces, vegetables, cheeses, onions, etc....
From my perspective Ethiopian food is quite spicy.
The restaurant that served our meal also had live Ethiopian music and dancers, which was quite entertaining.

This evening our group of four families walked to a local restaurant called the "Zebra Grill."

Tomorrow morning we have the opportunity to go and do some shopping for souvenirs and in the afternoon we will be able to spend time with Bereket.

Blessings, Sam

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading "I'll Pray for You and You Pray for Me"

Some serious coloring!

Our first meeting on Tuesday morning!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We passed court!!! We are officially the parents of Bereket Bennett!!!
We started the day going to the transition house to spend the morning with Bereket and meet with the psychologist. Then we went to lunch at a pizza place with the other couples in our group. After that Yonas, our guide took us to court. We are the first couple out of the 4 AWAA families here to go to court. We were done in 15 minutes. The judge asked us 6 or 8 questions then asked if we were positive we want to go through with the adoption, of course we said yes and that was that, he is ours! We then went back to the TH and told Bereket and spent a couple more hours with him. We also met with the medical doctor, Bereket is in good health. This evening we went to the Bosten Spa for messages (that was a new experience for us) and we celebrated at dinner with the other couples at the Lime Tree. It has been a full and fabulous day and we give God all the glory!!!

Please pray for us tomorrow moorning as we meet with Bereket's birth father.

With a grateful heart, Diane

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A good nights rest sure makes everything brighter. Another sunny day in Ethiopia!
Today is court date, where we will obtain legal custody of our son.
Today we will be taking the donations from our church to the transition homes.

Blessings Sam
Hello from Addis Ababa
Well we made it! Our flights went fairly well. I know why I am not a Ford man, our captain told us our flight would be like riding in a F 150 down an old country road from Chicago to Washington DC. Well he was right!

God blessed us with a really good flight from DC to Ethiopia. When we checked in the airline attendant gave us a row with a seat open between us, so we could spread out.
The flight was long but went well.

Traffic in the city is crazy, and that doesn't even begin to explain it. No traffic lights or lines on the road. Everyone does as they want in a city of 5 million.

We were so blessed to spend time today with our son, he remembered us and we played several games with him.

I will blog more tomorrow, we are exhausted and need sleep, we have been up for 24 hrs.

Pray for us tomorrow as we go to court,


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hey friends we made it to Chicago, not sure how much sleep we will get tonight, we are catching the 4:00 am shuttle. Who needs sleep anyway, we have 13 hours on a plane to sleep, yeah right!
Anyway, I can't tell you how peaceful it feels to be covered with so much prayer!

Blessings, Sam

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The call we've been waiting for came today! We have a court date in Ethiopia on March 13th! One week from today we will be in Ethiopia and we'll see our son! The waiting was getting hard but God's timing is perfect. We covet your prayers for travel and also the time we get to spend with "B". After court next Wednesday we can finally share his picture. We also received an update on him today and he said he is very happy about having a permanent family and can’t wait to meet us and he said he wants to play with the entire family and help his mother! He will be surprised to find out how often his father cooks! My heart is full tonight. There is nothing like being in the center of God's will! He is faithful and true!