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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog
Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

Comrades is Coming!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

Melkam Gena!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

Why I Run
Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

Expectations and Reality
Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15

I Remember
Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

A Summer of Firsts
Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Praise God! We've been Matched!!

Lora Dykstra - 2010-07-23
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We been matched with two precious boys!!  They are siblings (the have to be with Bethany).  “Z” is approx 5.5 years old, and “A” is about 3 years old.  “Z” is described as very active, enjoying soccer and running.  From his pictures, I’d say he’s a real charmer!!  What a beautiful smile!  Younger brother “A” is described saying, “quiet yet communicates well”.  He likes to sing and one of his favorite prayer is “Thank you God”.  “A” has one of the sweetest faces in the world!  Can wait to meet these precious boys!

Hopefully on Monday, we will be turn in our acceptance paperwork and making sure everything else is up-to-date.  We had an appointment today to update our fingerprints, which expire after 15 months (go figure, it doesn't seem possible for them to change, right?).  Now we have to update our  Immigration Pre-approval which expires in October.  The extra paper work would have had to be done even without the referral of these two boys, but let me tell's much more exciting knowing the names and faces of the precious boys we've been matched with!!! 

Next , we wait for a court date (which under new rules we have to travel for).  Court closes every year for 6-8 weeks in Aug/Sept.  This year they close Aug 8 until September 28th.  I’m assuming we will be hoping and praying for a court date in Oct or Nov and maybe will be able to travel again for the embassy date in Dec or Jan to bring the boys home.  These approximations are likely only if things go smoothly.  There are no guarantees on the timing, especially because no families have yet traveled under these new rules.  No one knows exactly what the two trips will look like and what the timing will be.

We are so excited to finally be at this point, with names and faces of these precious children!   We covet your prayers for their health and well being.  We also pray that they will adjust well to all the changes they have and will be going through.  Praise God for bringing us to this point in our journey!

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Top of the Sibling Waiting list!

Lora Dykstra - 2010-06-23
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Last week, a family from our agency received a sibling referral for two little girls, aged 2.5 and 1.5!  They had their papers in Ethiopia since May of last year.  Our papers went in July, and so I was very curious how close we were getting to the top of the sibling waiting list.  So I had to ask.   This is the response our Social Worker got from Corporate, “So what I can say is that this family is at the top of the list - and if/when we get a referral for a sibling group that is in-line with their preferences and is a good match for them, we will let you know asap!”

This means the wait is still very unpredictable.  It could still be many, many months, but we are FINALLY at the top of the list!   We are so excited, and yet a bit nervous as well.  We are entering the hardest part of the “wait”.  Being at the top and knowing it could be anytime is harder than knowing you are #5 or 6 on the list.  I know it will get even harder once we have the precious pictures of our children and have to wait to have court and embassy dates assigned.

Please pray for us.  Pray for peace and patience.  We have really done pretty well with the 12 month wait so far (by God’s grace).  Also, please pray for the children that God has planned for our family.  It seems that most children are only in the orphanage for a couple months before they are matched with a family.  This means they may be at the orphanage now or may be coming in the next couple months.  One important thing to remember about adoption is that in order for them to join our family they have experienced the loss of their birth family.  So it is likely that our future children are currently or soon going to be experiencing a tremendous amount of grief and loss.  It breaks my heart to think of their pain!  Please pray for God’s peace, for His protection, and His love to surround them at this time!

The current rule is that adoptive families will have to travel twice.  Once for the court date (this is the new trip) and once for the embassy date (this is the trip when you are able to bring your kids home!).  The first families who have to travel twice are waiting for their court dates.  It seems like the dates are taking longer to be assigned (it’s been about 2 months since referral, and it was common to have a court date within 4-6 weeks).  We are praying for all those families who are trying to be ready at any moment to buy plane tickets, find child care for their kids they have at home, schedule time off of work etc.  I can’t imagine how stressful that would be and please join us in praying that the Ethiopian courts would be able to figure out this new system soon!

We are so blessed to be surrounded by so many loving friends and family during this adoption journey.  Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.  We look forward to the day we can announce that we have been matched with precious children!!

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Two trips to Africa - It's official

Lora Dykstra - 2010-03-11
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For about the last couple of days there has been rumors that the Ethiopian government may require adoptive families to attend court for the adoption it's official.  We have gotten confirmation from our agency that this will be the case starting in April.  That likely means two trips....(unless they would streamline the paperwork between court and embassy so that it would be one trip that last 3-4 weeks).  This will involve more cost (extra plane tickets & cost of stay) and more "vacation" time and time away from Abi and Ben, but we know that it's worth it. Thankfully Chad has a lot of vacation stored up!

The reason for this change is apparently due to some families who have passed court and when they come for their embassy date to bring the kids home, have changed their minds.  I can hardly imagine!  But this is just one step the government is taking to safe-guard the kids and to assure that the adoptive parents have seen the kids and there is not much chance of a "surprise".

At this point I'm just sad for all those who have referrals and are waiting for court dates....they didn't plan on traveling for 3-4 months and now they might have to get on a plane in less than a month.  AND then again a month later.  Their are a lot of families that I know that are stressing so please be in prayer for all the families in process.  I also am sad for all the social workers how have to relate this to all their clients...I'm sure it's frustrating/hard to have to tell everyone about this rather big change in the process.  You are told to expect change when dealing with international adoptions...but it doesn't always make those changes easy.

The news for me is kinda mixed.  Because we haven't been matched yet, everything seems so just isn't very real yet.  But as I think about it -  I'm excited to see my kids that much sooner (4-6 weeks), but I think it will be hard to see them and then have to leave them:(  That just seems SOOO hard for us and the kids!  One good thing is that they will come home and become citizens as soon as they touch down in the USA.  If you don't see your kids before court, you have to do extra paperwork (time and money) to get citizenship.  Some families I know have been home for almost a year and their kids are still "aliens".  I've heard some states are worse than others and MI not so bad, but it will be nice to have a little less cost and paperwork needed after they are home!

Another benifit that someone meantioned is the opportunity to meet any living birth parents (they have always been required to attend court).  That would be a very special time...probably difficult, but I've heard a lot of positive feedback from those who have had this opportunity. 

We are still hoping and praying for a referral in the next 6 months and we would love to bring our kids home sometime in 2010, but we know that their is know way of knowing or even estimating when we will be matched.  Thank you to all of you who are "following" us on this journey and praying for us along the way!   

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We still wait and rejoice with all those receiving great new

Lora Dykstra - 2010-02-25
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I am often asked if there is anything new with the adoption process.  We always appreciate people's interest!  No news for us, and it's hard to know how long until we might be matched with our children.  But our agency has some new orphanages they are working with so there has been a lot a matches made for other families who are waiting.  In January there were 23 referrals (last year there were a total of about 70...10 in December).  In December, families were waiting 14 months to receive an infant match and some people were matched in January only waited 9 months.  Yesterday there were at least 5 new matched families!  We rejoice with them all!!

As some of you may know there is an "unofficial" waiting list that I keep an eye on on Bethany's forum.  There were 7 families who all had our paperwork sent on July 1, 2009 (along with ours).  There were 4 of us open to siblings (or only wanting sibs).  Well, there are now only 2 families left of our original 7....all the others have been matched (no sib groups though)!!  Some just got matched yesterday, some have court dates, others have passed court and are waiting for an invitation to travel.  So we know that if we were open to a single child we would have been matched already:)  It would be hard, but I feel so strongly about getting a sibling group that the idea of only one child makes me it's been easy to celebrate with others and not be jealous!  It's not that the wait is easy, it's just that I have a lot of peace about it.  It's been less than 8 months, and we were told the wait would likely be about 12-15 that helps in being patient!  I'm definitley trying to take this time to read and prepare.  I've been reading a couple of books and feel like I'm learning so much about parenting...especially understanding the complexity of international adoption and the effects on kids.  Again I celebrate the new level of service that our agency provides with a video life book for the kids.  To have that connection to their birth country, culture, community and any living family will be priceless!!

We look forward to hopefully have amazing news to share in the next 6 months or so, but in the mean time we are enjoying the precious children we already have been blessed with!

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Running, Running & hopefully more Running!

Lora Dykstra - 2010-01-11
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It’s official.  We’re committed to running the 5/3 Riverbank 25k on May 8th.  So let the training begin (OK, continue…we’ve been training for 2 weeks now).  The ultimate goal here is to see if I will be able to run the Chicago Marathon in October.  For those of you who know me well, you remember that I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2001….nine years ago….and it about ruined my body…but I got to know Chad so it was all worth itJ 

So, you might be asking, “What are you thinking?”  That is a great question.  The answer is that I feel God calling me to train.  We want to join Team World Vision and raise money for children in Africa who are dying because of a lack of clean water, food and medicine.  I don’t know if he will grant me the physical ability to complete the training, but I’m confident that I’m supposed to start training and see what doors are opened and which are closed.  I’ll also be smarter this time…I will do 2 of the 6 days of running per week as a cross-training activity…I’ll do some workouts in the water and some elliptical training.  Also, if my hip hurts, I’ll walk instead of limp-running (not recommended).  I know better what kind of pain to run through and what to walk out. 

So we are hoping to get a team together.  Anyone feel God might want you to join our team?  

So while we wait for our adoption to happen we can focus our efforts and passion for caring for orphans on running ....and running some more!

26.2 for Africa on 10-10-10 (or 13.1 at Chicago’s Half Marathon Sept 12th).  I care. So I run.

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