We’re back!

Sorry for the delay in updating DrakeCity and getting everyone pictures since coming together as a family of six. We made it back to Istanbul yesterday and did not have fastest enough Internet access while in Ethiopia to upload pictures. Honestly, though, the break from Internet, television and telephones was fantastic! More than anything, it was a blessing to spend a week together as a family and enjoy the great outdoors in the highlands of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Of course, the highlight of the trip was picking up Zoe and being together for the first time as a family of six. If you want to see some pictures from our trip, you can find them HERE.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our family! The trip went really well, as we got our American and Turkish visas without a hitch and were able to return home to Istanbul as we had hoped. God blessed us with favor in the eyes of officials, great new friends in Ethiopia, and our precious little daughter.

Amazing to think that just over 11 months ago we had not yet officially started the adoption process and Zoe was not yet born. Now we have a little girl, and our family is complete (at least that’s what we’re thinking right now :-))…

Exciting Adoption Update

Praise the Lord! Our adoption case has been submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, which means we will likely be picking up Zoe next month and bringing her home! We are beyond thankful for how quickly and smoothly things have gone throughout the adoption process, and we give all the glory to God for His faithfulness and grace to our family and to our little girl.

Will you please pray for us to have wisdom about the logistics of the upcoming trip? In order to save money and make things much easier for Noah, Levi and Silas, Marsha is likely going to go on the trip by herself. Please pray for God’s grace, peace and wisdom as we make these plans.

Furthermore, we covet your prayers for our subsequent trip to America. In order to complete Zoe’s U.S. citizenship, we will be required to bring her to the U.S. before February. Please pray for God’s wisdom in regards to the timing and logistics of that trip, too. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Quick Adoption Update

While we are still needing some help from the government in pushing some of our documentation through the process, Marsha and I will be in Ethiopia from June 26-29 (travelling June 25-30). Finally, we get to meet our baby girl! We praise God for His continued faithfulness throughout this adoption process. Please continue to pray for things to go smoothly. We found out today that our court date has been changed from June 27th to June 28th. Although this is not a problem, we really need it to stay on the 28th and not get pushed back later, as that will create some big problems for us being able to get post-court documents taken care of at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. Thank you for your continued prayers for our little Zoe and for God’s gracious hand on our family!

And our daughter’s name is…

…Zoe Lee Drake. Yes, we have finally decided on a name for our little girl. Zoe means “life” in Greek, and Lee is Marsha’s middle name. Thus, both the first and the middle name have much significance to us. We already love Zoe just like she is one of our children, and although it is not official yet, she really is our daughter. “Life,” because of what adoption represents, seems like a fitting name for little Zoe. Just as our Heavenly Father lovingly adopted us through Jesus Christ and made us His children, we are privileged to be able to adopt Zoe and make her one of our children.

To update you on our status, we have already been given a court date of June 27th in Ethiopia! Please pray for us, though, as we desperately need to get an important form filed with the U.S. government and are having a difficult time getting that done. If things do not move miraculously fast, our court date may get delayed and then our second trip to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter and bring her home with us would get delayed. If all goes as we hope and pray, Zoe will be home with us here in Istanbul this fall. We covet your prayers and trust God is in control, as always!

Good Adoption News!

We just received the good news that we have been submitted to court! This means we’ll find out in a couple weeks when we fly to Ethiopia for the first time to meet our daughter and go to court for adoption approval. Most likely this trip will be in early July, but we won’t know for sure until we get the call in a couple weeks.

Then, it could be anywhere from three to five months after that when we return to Ethiopia to get our girl and bring her home!

Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for our daughter! God continues to prove His faithfulness throughout this process and has used people’s prayers to bless us immensely. We will continue to keep you posted and will be able to share pictures of our little girl next month :-).

Adoption Update

We are thankful and blessed to report that we have now received over $7,500 in donations to help with the adoption of our sweet little girl from Ethiopia! Thank you to all of you who have given thus far, as we are grateful for your kindness and generosity.

Although we are still waiting for an official court date, we did learn recently that we will likely be going to Ethiopia for our court date and to meet our daughter in late June or early July. Nothing will be certain, though, for another 4-6 weeks. We will continue posting updates here on DrakeCity, and you can keep up with specifics on our Adoption page, too.

As always, thank you for praying for our baby girl – for her health, her development and God’s shaping of her little heart. To HIM be the glory!