Sunday, December 27, 2009

About the boys

Each time an adoptive family from our agency travels to Ethiopia, they take pictures and videos of all the children they see. From time to time, a little note accompanies the pictures. Here's a small taste of some of what we've been told over the past 7 months:

"G is just so so happy. You just look at him and he smiles from ear to ear! And I am so in love with A. He is so sweet and cuddly! They are gonna be a trip when they grow up."

"Your kids are sooooo cute and I can't tell you how lucky you are with both of them."

"Your lil' guys are so adorable and happy!! They smiled all the time. They were always together :)"

We can't wait to meet them!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

November shower

Here are photos from our shower.

What a gracious gift from our friends!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Is Ethiopia! Is children! Is time!

We have our Embassy appointment! We'll be heading out soon after the first of January.
That's right. Three and a half weeks from now... Wow!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes, we're getting ready!

We're waiting on travel dates. Hopefully they will be given to us in the next two weeks. Hopefully they will be for sometime in January...

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to become a family:

For us, it all started a while back when little Drew was born and became a Raines.
Then in May of 2000, I became a Raines and our family was made.
And now today, we celebrate the day that two little boys become Raines by the decree of the Ethiopian courts and our family has grown. By two.

Thanks be to God!

There is no one holy like the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:2

Saturday, November 14, 2009

To everyone who was a part last night...

Friday, November 06, 2009

To be continued...

Our case went to court today, but we did not "pass". There was a delay with our paperwork, but we are very hopeful.

Thanks for prayerfully walking with us through this never boring journey!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Assignment

We got our first court date assignment for Friday, November 6th!

On that day our case will go before the Ethiopian court for review and, hopefully, approval. And, no, we won't be present for the court date. We'll be sleeping.
(There's an 8 hour time difference!)

For the data conscious:
June- first heard about the boys
July- received official referral
August 14thish- dossier was submitted to court
October 23- received first court date

Monday, October 05, 2009

Awaiting assignment

Just a bit of an update:
What are we doing? We're waiting for the Ethiopian courts to re-open after their rainy season closing. It is estimated that things will start back up next week.

How long will it take for us to be assigned our court date? We have no idea. But that is the next step for our family's process.

How are the boys doing? They seem to be doing great! We see how they are growing and changing very much with each update we receive. What difference from when we first "met" them 4 months ago. The boys will turn 1 year this month!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trajes Tipicos

September is a month for holidays...

Happy Independence Day, El Salvador!

Photo by: memehuezo

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

Melkam Addis Amet! Happy New Year, Ethiopia!

Mountains near Lalibela, Ethiopia
photo by: Moi of Ra

Monday, August 24, 2009

We're going to court!

That's a good thing- to be in court!

Our dossier was submitted to the Ethiopian court on August 14th. Courts are actually officially closed for the rainy season Ethiopia experiences each year and so we know that we won't hear anything for at least another 6 weeks. But, when they do open back up we are already in the queue, which is great news!
Once the courts open back up, the next step for the Raines family is to receive an assignment for a court date. Hopefully we will receive info of our court date assignment before the end of October. After the court date is assigned, then we will wait what is an average of 2 months for it to occur. Then, if all the paperwork is in place and approved, the court date takes place and the Ethiopian courts may officially decree the boys to be Raines'.

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.
Ecclesiastes 3:14

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Flying paper

Our dossier has made it to Ethiopia!
It will be translated over the next month and a half so we anticipate it being a quiet August around here, as far as paperwork goes.
The next step in the paperwork process is the assignment of an Ethiopian court date.

We'll certainly keep you posted...

(ps- So, how awesome is it that we are writing things like this?)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This dossier is in the mail!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fingerprints, take IIII

It's that time again!
Somehow it was a little more fun to do this this year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It is with great joy that we share with you some recent news in
the Raines house. A little over a month ago we were informed
about two boys in Ethiopia. We have begun to pursue them and are
officially on track to adopt them into our family!

They are 8.5-month-old twin brothers. We are thrilled! Thanks
for being a part of this journey with us and the one to come.

God truly has sustained us through your labor in prayer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The following is the answer to the question we frequently hear: "Why?"

The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:6
The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:33
Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way? Proverbs 20:24
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. Proverbs 21:1
I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God
I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these. Isaiah 45:5-7
I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. Jeremiah 27:5
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it? Lamentations 3:37
Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' "Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." Job 42:1-3

While this is commonly Our response when children come home (and, Lord willing, ours will soon), let this be the answer We give for not having those children, just the same.


Saturday, May 23, 2009


"Orphans at home and around the world can share our rich inheritance. They can run into the arms of Jesus and be transformed from orphans into sons and daughters.

We are not all called to adopt these children into our families. But we are all called to look at them, even though it makes our eyes burn, and be willing to let their needs disrupt our lives."

p146 Carried Safely Home

Friday, April 03, 2009


"...nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You."

2 Chronicles 20:12

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
Psalm 145:9

Artwork by: Marleyungaro

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Homestudy update

Time, again, to update!
We met with our social worker yesterday to formally update our homestudy. The original one was completed in 2006. It was interesting going over our old answers to questions, seeing how some things have changed and how some things have stayed the same.

Our agency made another trip to El Salvador last week and plans to head back down in March. More meetings, more conversations, more advocacy,...

¿Quién es Dios, si no el Señor?
¿Quién es la roca, si no nuestro Dios?
Salmos 18:31

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Beginning Year Four

This month marks the official end of the third year of our El Salvadoran international adoption process.

Here's a little more about what is happening in El Salvador these days...

According to El Salvadoran law, there is supposed to be a "Reunion Conjunta" every 45 days. This is when the government agency responsible for the adoptive families meets with the government agency responsible for the current adoptable children. Following this meeting is a "Comite" meeting. This is when the agencies officially make the referral decision to match families with children.
As far as we understand, the first "Reunion Conjunta" meeting of 2008 took place in September/October. This meeting only considered adoptive families from Spain. A second meeting did occur before the end of this past year and referrals were made. This was the first and only time in 2008 the process took place for US families. The process that is, by law, supposed to take place every 45 days.

The government agencies are under-staffed and handle all of the country's family/child issues.

There are over 150,000 orphans in El Salvador. There is much work to be done.

Agencies, such as ID4C are working along-side the government to assist in areas where they lack resources and personnel.

"Nothing in all creation can be hidden from God's sight." Hebrews 4:13