Ready or not...here we go

It is Friday night and I am almost ready. Cole has gone on a trip with my family (to see UT beat Ohio State and advance in the NCAA tournament). Caroline has gone to my mom's house and Brooke, Russ and I are getting those last minute things done and packed. All the care packages I am taking arrived so they are all packed in case anyone didn't get confirmation from me that I received theirs. I have been very anxious and overwhelmed throughout the day but now feel a bit of peace....actually I can't wait to go to bed so that tomorrow will be here faster. I am going to try and update our blog as often as is possible with details of our trip. We fly home on Saturday, April 3rd at 5:45pm...would love to see everyone and have you meet Samuel Hayes Connelly!


48 hours to takeoff...

It is Thursday afternoon and we have our airline tickets, our housing arrangements, Russ got his last shot and the kids and I got back from Florida a few hours ago. I don't know how to explain this week. I have so much emotion that I could burst into tears at any minute but they are tears of joy. If I think about having him in my arms the flood gates open, I know it will be just like when the doctors put my children in my arms for the first time. You have waited so long, endured many hardships and then the miracle happens....your child is in your arms to be part of you for the rest of your life. I am ready and happy and anxious and edgey and so many other things.....I even feel bad for my husband and children at home with me. The funny thing is I have not packed one thing....now remember when I left for Florida on Thursday I thought I wasn't traveling until May or April at the earliest. So tonight will be a very busy time at the Connelly home. I will pack Brooke, Russ and me for Ethiopia and pack Cole and Caroline for their grandparents. We are so lucky to have our families so close by to help. My parents are taking the kids half the time and Russ' parents the other half.

I do have a prayer request for Sam....they let me know that he is showing signs of pneumonia again and he has started an IV again. Please pray for his health and our safe travels. I hope to update the blog from Ethiopia if at all possible.


Praise God! Sam is coming home...

God is so good and we are so blessed!! We received a call from our travel coordinator (Kristen) this morning and she had very good news for us. The investigation by the US Embassy is complete and they are ready to process the paperwork for Sam to come home. The next appt. that our agency has is next Wednesday....that's right in one week +2 days. Kristen told us that if we could work it out to travel this weekend that we could go. I went to work right away making sure Russ' work schedule could be cleared and that we could get airline tickets. My first email back from the travel agent said that all flights were booked and that it looked nearly impossible but there was a chance that she could get us moved from a wait list hold to a confirmed ticket and hours later she had it done. So we are most likely leaving Saturday morning the 27th and returning Saturday evening April 3rd. I say most likely only because Kristen was wanting to receive final confirmation and should tomorrow morning.

On a side note...because we did not think we were traveling the kids and I left out yesterday for Florida and are not scheduled to go home until Thursday. That will give me 48 hours to pack the three of us and get my two kids who are staying home situated for a week. We have been off from school for 2 weeks and they start back on Monday. My mind is racing a million miles a minute but I am smiling so much my face hurts. I have always told my mom that I like that my life is a bit crazy and boy will the next few weeks be crazy!!

Will keep you updated and thanks so much for all your prayers....they are felt and are working.


Oops...here are the pics

New Pictures and prayer request!

We received new pictures from the sweet family that delivered care package #3. Sam is growing fast and from his serious look you can tell he is ready to come home:) It is such a blessing to have families take goodies to your child and even more a blessing to receive photos and see that he is doing well. We sent care package #4 today....of course I was hoping that we would be delivering this one ourselves but that was not the plan.

I received an email from our family coordinator today and Sam is sick again. He has an upper respiratory infection and pink eye. Apparently there are several children in the transition home that are sick. Please pray for healing and strength ...and yes that his momma will get to nurse him back to health soon, soon, soon.

I also spoke with the travel coordinator today and there has not been one bit of new information on our case. Frustration x 100!! She is hoping that by this time next week they will have at least gotten an update on our case but there is no guarantee. My emotions seem to go from being at peace with the process to wanting to just fly over there, bring Sam home and deal with the "stuff" later. Just not positive that forgiveness over permission is an option.

There has been lots going on in our family to keep me from focusing just on our travel. My sweet son Cole turned 10. Yes, I have two children in the double digits. The kids have started their two week spring break and we just got back from Wilderness at the Smokies which is an indoor water park. There were 19 of us and only 8 of those were adults. We are headed to the beach this coming Sunday and will stay through the following Thursday. All of this is so much fun and I am so thankful for the fun times but of course we thought we would be in Ethiopia this week so it is still a bit hard.

We have also spent some time at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. My niece Blake who was born one week before we received our referral was hospitalized with bronchiolitis. She was in the hospital for 10 days and although she was an absolute angel and perfect patient it did cause quite a bit of worry for all of us. Her mom is incredible and honestly hardly left her side which left daddy to care for Jax which included a stomach bug in the middle of one of the nights. I ask for your prayers for her too....it is likely that she is going to have heart surgery sometime in the next 6-8 weeks. We want her well but sure would like a miracle to happen and her not to have to have the surgery. If she does, we pray for her, the surgeons and the recovery.

That is a brief recap of things going on in the wacky world of the Connelly's. We thank God for each day we have, each person we have been given the opportunity to love and look forward to serving Him every day.


Small steps

Got a call from America World today and our paperwork has finally made it through the system and will be submitted to the Embassy tomorrow. This is not a step that normally would be reported on but with all the delays and the issues with the Embassy not issuing visas it has become a big deal. Now the Embassy will have the paperwork on our case and can at least start the investigations and hopefully in a week or two give us tentative travel dates again. Our agency is still saying it will be mid-May though.

I did read on another persons blog that they had received TTDs and they passed court the same week we did. They are with a different agency so it doesn't mean that we will follow their timeline but they are going to be able to travel in April......and a mom can hope can't she! Hoping to get more pictures from a family that just got home this past weekend. As soon as I receive them I will post.


Two more pics of our precious Sam

These pictures of Sam were taken on or around February 22nd. He is 4 months old.

Update on Sam

We received our February update on Sam yesterday with three new pictures. He is so adorable and seems very happy. He is now 13 lbs and 24 inches. He is taking 7 bottles a day (2 at night) and is holding his head up on his own. He has 9 different nannies that care for him and he has completely recovered from his pneumonia....thank you all for your prayers!

It was so exciting to get the update on Sam but we also found out that we will not be traveling on March 13th and that it looks like it could possibly be as late at mid May. I can't put into words how incredibly disappointed I am...and frustrated....and sad. God's timing is perfect and it will be perfect when we have Sam in our arms but in my humanness it is so hard not knowing what that timing is!! I think about Sam all the time especially at night because I know that is when he is awake. I wake up and shoot up a little prayer for him throughout the night and hope that someone is loving on him and kissing him at that very moment. I so bad want to just fly over and love on him for a few days and then come back and wait for when we can go pick him up for good but Russ does not think that is a good idea. I am pretty sure he thinks that either I will not come home or I will try to sneak him in my bag and bring him with me:) He knows me well.

So I am going to try to continue to have faith that we will be with Sam soon, hope that it is sooner rather than later and love for him that is not measurable.