This is the ongoing story of God calling our family to adoption.
Has it really been 10 months since we’ve been home with Pen? Man time has flown by. Well I wanted to give everyone an update on how we are doing and let you guys know where the Lord is leading us. We have taken the last ten months to focus on bonding as a family and adjusting to being a family of 4. I can’t tell how amazing this journey has been. In the many ups and downs that come along with adoption God has been faithful. He has faithfully provided everything we have needed and through His grace we are doing wonderful.
Pen has attached and adjusted so well. Pen attached to Courtney really quick. It was amazing to watch a mother and daughter bond and connect on so many levels in a relatively short amount of time. It didn’t take too long for River and Pen’s relationship to flourish. She absolutely loves her big brother and looks for every opportunity to love on him, play with him, take his snacks, and drive him crazy. River has been amazing through the process as well. He has done a wonderful job of taking that big brother role on. You know the role I’m talking about right? The one of loving, caring, protecting, pestering, etc… So needless to say everything is going great.
We truly are thankful for all the love and support we have received on this journey! Without the love and support of family, friends, strangers alike we would not have been able to do this. So again thank you!
So what next for the Grimes family? Well, we are adopting again! Adopting more then one child has always been apart of our plans and through prayer and counsel we know its time to let everyone know. We are currently #1 on the Lifeline’s Ethiopia waiting list. Yes you read that correctly we are #1 on the waiting list. We have been there for a few months and kindly asked them to put us on hold while we focused on Pen’s adjustment and attachment. Now we are at the place where we know we need to start getting all of our ducks in a row so we can accept our referral.
We are asking for an older boy between the ages of 5-8. Would you begin to pray for this boy? We currently do not know who he is but God knows. We have been praying for him for a long time and it would mean the world to us if you would as well. Please pray for his physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Also, please pray for us as we work through all the many details that lie ahead of us. We are so excited and ready to move forward. We have some paperwork to do, fingerprints to update, and we have to secure finances. Once these few things are done we will be able to accept our referral.
In hopes to secure some financial assistance we have partnered with a wonderful organization called Walk 153. Walk 153 is hosting a fundraising walk on November 3rd and everything raised will go to support families in the adoption process. Thankfully we get to be apart of this event.
We have been asked to find individuals who will support us for the walk. Would you prayerfully consider giving to support our adoption? If so please click on the link below and give. Any amount will would be amazing. Please make sure you indicate in the form that it is for the Grimes family.
Again thank you so much for all the support you have given us in the adoption process with Pen and thank you for helping us bring our next child home. If you have any questions about the event please feel free to ask.
So I am stoked about February. It has the potential to be the best and busiest month I have ever had. There is so many reasons why I am excited but one of them is I start my new job as the Executive Director of Altar 84! Altar 84 is a wonderful non-profit that seeks to altar the lives of orphans both local and globally. Orphan care is one of my families passions and the opportunity to serve the Lord by taking care of the least of these is truly humbling. I am deeply humbled by this opportunity.
At Altar we have a wonderful team! I am so thankful to be able to serve alongside such wonderful people. I pray the Lord uses this organization to have a great impact on the church and the orphan crisis both locally and globally. So I want to invite you to join us in praying for the ministry and I ask that you join us in doing something, anything to impact the orphan both locally and globally. Pray, give, support, go, fellowship, play, laugh, cry, adopt, foster, etc…I put “etc” b/c there is so much more you can do to altar the life of the orphan both locally and globally. Get creative and let us know if we can help.
Please visit our website: altar84.org
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Altar84/161228227307358?fref=ts
Follow us on Twitter: @Altar84
Blessings to you and yours. We are so thankful for all of you guys. God bless.
Well its been a few weeks since we’ve been back in the country and life is going well. We are finally getting into a routine and life is becoming somewhat normal for us. Pen is adjusting and attaching well. For this we are truly thankful. She is eating, sleeping, growing, playing, fussing, and going through diapers like all 14 month olds do.
River has been amazing through the entire process. He is has been so sweet to Pen and very loving towards her. However, he is trying to figure out what it looks like not being an only child now, so we are talking and loving him through this process. Courtney has been amazing through the entire process as well. I truly don’t know where she gets the energy to be super mom and wife. God has been so good and has sustained her through it all.
Again, thank you all for the prayer and support. Without your support it would have been almost impossible to get through this part of our journey. Please know that this is only the beginning of this wonderful journey. So we humbly ask for you to continue to support us through prayer. Many ask what can we do for you guys and my response is always the same, please pray for us! The Lord has taught us so much through this process but one truth that He has pressed upon us is the importance of prayer. Leonard Ravehill once said, “ If weak in prayer, weak everywhere.” We have found this statement to be true. So please join us in praying the Lord will continue to sustain us through this entire process.
So we are completely overwhelmed with the goodness of our God! Tuesday we got and email from the US Embassy saying they received our paperwork. Wednesday they sent and email saying they are working on our case and then Thursday morning they sent an email saying our case has cleared and it ok for us to travel. This very well may be a new world record.
So it is with great joy I get to tell you all that in the next week or so we get to go pick up our daughter from Ethiopia. Please pray for us as we try to work out all the many details. I think we have decided not to take River with us on this trip. There are few details that are not coming together to be able to take him. I’m sure he’s not going to be happy about it but I know he will be fine. I think he’s just ready to meet his sister. Anyway, thank you all for your support and prayers. Please don’t think of this as the end of our journey or our need of your support. This is simply the beginning. May the Lord continue to show himself strong, faithful, and good.
Please meet Penelope “Pen” Obse Grimes!
Again thank you all for the prayers and support. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for our second trip. The lawyer is telling us it will be 4-6 weeks before we can go back. We are praying it will be more like 4 weeks then 6. There are still many details that need to be tended to but we know its all in God’s hands. Well below are just a few of the pics from our trip. We hope you enjoy.
Due to the lack of Internet access we were only able to update via facebook with a very slow connection. Here are the updates for the 3 of you who do not have facebook. I would encourage you to go to my facebook page and read some of the comments left. They were such an encouragement to us and will be to you as well. Again thanks for all the support and prayers.
Dear friends, I can’t even begin to describe the day we have had today! We spent 2 hours with Pen this morning and 2 hours with her this afternoon. Seeing her for the 1st time was overwhelming. She is amazing! I wished I had time to tell you more but I can’t. I’m using a public computer that’s about as fast as dial up in the 90’s.
As I sit here I can’t help but to be overwhelmed by God’s goodness. I am overwhelmed that in His love he has adopted us into his family and I am overwhelmed by the gift he has given us in Pen. She is amazing. Thank you guys so much for your prayers. We are so thankful.
Please pray for Pen as she begins to figure out that we are her parents. While she has done wonderful please pray she will become more comfortable with us. Pray that everything will go well Monday during our court date. And please pray for us Wednesday as we have to leave her and come back home. Pray that God will give us the strength we need and sustain us until we get to come back and bring her home.
Again thank you all for everything. Updates will come as often as I can. Blessing from Ethiopia!
So we are back at the guest house. I don’t want to sound redundant but today was AMAZING! Yesterday Pen was very quiet and observant and today she was full of life and active. She was laughing and talking so much. She loves her mommy and didn’t want her to put her down.
Tomorrow is a very big day and we ask for your prayers. We go to court tomorrow so please pray everything goes well for us. If we pass court we should be able to post a pic of her! I know so many of you are wanting to see this beautiful little girl. Hopefully we will be able to make that happen!
Funny side note, Pen peed all over Courtney today. So I think she really likes her! Anyway, please be praying. Love you guys!
Please pray for Johnny. He has a bug and is not feeling well at all. We have to appear in court in about 7 hours. It is mandatory that he appear with me, so it is critical that he feels better so that he can make it. I am asking everyone to please pray for him that God would make this pass quickly and that he would make a full recovery before our appearance today! PRAY PLEASE!
Day 3 cont…
Friends it has been a long 24 hours. While I am not 100% the worst is behind me. I know a few guys who have gotten crazy sick in foreign countries and all of them have said it is horrible. I too can testify it is not fun. I have never been sick like this. I am thankful we followed the advice of some friends and got some meds before we left.
Well I did not make it to court. I actually got out of bed put some cloths on tried to go. As soon as I got to the courthouse I got really sick again so our driver rushed me back to the guesthouse. Thankfully Courtney was able to go to court w/o me. She killed it by the way! PEN IS NOW OUR DAUGHTER! I wished I could post pics put the internet connection will not allow it. As soon as we get back in the states Thursday I will be blowing Instagram, twitter, and facebook up with them. This doesn’t surprise most of you.
Everyday we have been going to the foster home in the morning and afternoon to visit Pen. I was crushed that I couldn’t go this morning. Courtney went and said she was doing great. I did however manage to get up the strength to go this evening. I can’t tell you how hard it was just to sit there and not play, kiss, and hug all over Pen. I am truly thankful that I did get to see her.
I am so thankful for all of you who have prayed. I means a lot. Please keep it up.
Woke this morning still sick but rejoicing I have enough energy to get up and go. Courtney and I both are missing River a lot. Its so strange missing one child who is thousands of miles away, meeting one child you’ve been praying for years, having to leave one and go visit the other, and then leaving the one and going back home w/o her. Yes I know that all sounds confusing, try having all those emotions at once. Its confusing to us as well. God is faithful and had sustained us both throughout this trip, even through my sickness.
Courtney’s mom sent us some pics of River at the Zoo yesterday. All he wanted to do was go see the Trails of Africa. He is so excited and we know he will be a great big brother.
We are thankful for all the support. Please continue to pray for us we leave tomorrow night and should be home sometime around lunch Thursday. Thanks guys!
Day 4 cont…
So I made it through the day without having to get in the bed and rest. Thank the Lord for that. We went to our morning visit with Pen and she was doing well. She is so talkative and responsive. There is no doubt that she loves her mom. She thinks Courtney is the funniest person ever. She loves talking and laughing at Courtney. I jokingly told Courtney that this is the first time in history that a child has liked her more then me. She agreed but loves the fact that Pen is clinging to her more then me. I secretly love it as well just don’t tell Courts.
During the morning visit a car drove up and some of the ladies came out and started packing kids in this car like it was a clown car. Then when they could get only one more kid in the car they came over to us and took Pen and put her in the car. We asked where they were going and they told us to get the kids some shots. No joke in like 20 mins they were back. I jokingly ask did they go through a drive-through clinic or something? Do you drive up and stick the kids butt out the window? I was amazed at how fast all of those kids got shots. They brought her back and said she did great but told us she may have a temp during the afternoon visit.
After that we went back to the guesthouse where the ladies there had made a wonderful lunch then we partook in a Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. 3 things about the ceremony: 1. It was stinking awesome! 2. The coffee was amazing! 3. It takes awhile. You are not hitting the starbucks drive-through on this one. The coffee is a 1,000 times better (which is not hard to do) and the conversation is even better then that. It was awesome!
The afternoon visit was just as we expected, Pen had a temp and was not feeling well. They brought her to us and she was a sleep. Courtney took her and she feel right back asleep in her arms. She stayed asleep for 45 mins or so. Once she woke up she was still not feeling well. She only wanted to be held so we obliged. She didn’t have to twist our arms to do so.
So tomorrow will be are last day with Pen. Our hearts are already heavy. To be honest its hard to even type that w/o crying. I ask that you pray for us. Pray God’s hand of peace and strength will be upon us. Please pray for Pen. Pray that our time away from her will only enhance her love and affection for us. She is in wonderful care. We know she will be receiving the best cafe and love anyone can ask for. This makes our departure somewhat easier. If wading in the middle of the ocean for 4-6 weeks with a small life vest makes it anymore easy. (not sure if any of you get that but it makes perfect sense in my head and heart.)
We love you all and can’t wait to share with you this wonderful gift God has given us. My prayer for her is the same prayer I pray for my son River. Lord please save her and him while they are young. May Pen, River, and the many who read this and see this journey from afar not just see 2 people adopting a child but see the love of our heavenly father and how he too adopts us into his family. I pray they will see this and turn to God through faith and repentance. Thanks be to God for all things and especially adoption.
I can’t explain how hard it was leaving our baby this afternoon. The last hour with her was spent just walking around, holding her, singing to her, kissing and hugging her. It was the longest/fastest hour of my life. As we left in tears I thanked God for her, my wonderful wife, and beautiful son waiting on us at home. There is no doubt God has called me to be a family man first. I can honestly say when I left that foster home I left a changed man. I left with a new sense of calling to love my wife and my children more then ever. I left with a greater passion to give them all that I have and point them to Jesus. I left with a great passion for our Heavenly Father and His relentless love he has for his children. I left with a greater love for the orphan, poor, and widow.
Never before has James 1:27 been so real to me as I held my once orphaned child. Never before has James 1:27 been so real as I saw the widow and orphan begging on the streets of Addis. Never before have I seen such need the world has and the impact just one can have. I am now more committed more then ever to the great commission b/c God has shown me first hand the great need and His great love. I left there understanding that anyone and everyone to the glory of God can have a huge impact on this world.
See you guys soon. We love you all.
It’s official WE HAVE A COURT DATE! Thanks be to God! We will be flying to EthiopiaNovember 28th and our court date is December 3rd. It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks we will get to meet our daughter for the first time. I can’t tell you how excited we are. When I got the call telling us we got a court date I was overcome with emotion. I literally could not speak. I tried to keep it together b/c I was in the room with 3 other men but as tears filled my eyes I was overcome with such joy. It’s strange to say but at that moment every bit of the stress and anxiety left my body. It was as though God was saying this is what all the hard work and waiting was for…going to get this wonderful little girl.
We are not so naive to think that there are not still many hurdles we will have to cross but with the help of God and a parent’s determination we know we will have her home sooner then later. Please pray for us as we start the court process. Please pray we don’t get held up anymore. We want nothing more then to have Pen home with us. Also, please pray for Courts and I as we try to work out all the many details from flights, fees, bedrooms, and cloths. There is so much to be done and what seems so little time. May we keep focused and moving forward.
Thanks guys! God bless.
The Grimes Family
Fun fact: Pen’s birthday is November 21st which is also River’s birthday. She will be 1 and he will be 5 next week. Happy Birthday to them both!
By far the hardest part of adoption is the waiting. It’s a process
full of extremes. Either you are waiting or you are running full
speed. I’m the type of person who enjoyes running at full speed and I
hates waiting. If I am running I know things are getting done. So for me waiting is horrible.
So with all of that said we are now waiting. All of our paperwork is
ready to be submitted to the court but for some reason we are having a
difficult time getting it submitted. To be honest I don’t know why it
hasn’t been submitted. All I know is for the past few days I’ve been
getting emails saying your paperwork has not been submitted. We are
hoping and praying that today’s email will say your paperwork has been
submitted. Please pray with us that our paperwork will indeed be
Thankfully Penelope has been moved to the foster home in Addis. It
took a month or so longer then we thought but thankfully she
was and is in great care every step along the way.
We can’t tell you how ready we are to meet Pen. We have received a few
pictures of her and to say she is adorable would be an understatement.
Our son River who will be 5 next month is ready to meet her as well.
He often asks about her and talks about Africa as if he has been there
before. Courtney and I are still trying to decide if we are going to
take him on one of the trips with us. I want to take him on the first
trip but Courtney has reservations. If you have traveled over with
kids please give us some advice on this.
Well I think that about does it for the update. Please be praying for
us as we wait. Pray the paperwork gets submitted ASAP. Thanks and God
For His Fame,
The Grimes Family
Words truly cannot describe how amazed we are with the many people who helped us with our adoption fees. Through the Lord’s provision we had just enough to pay the 18,000-dollar payment last week. To the many who gave, thank you! Without you guys helping us we would have not been able to pay for Pen’s agency fee and the Ethiopia Fee. Thankfully all we need now is our travel cost. We will be working extra hard over the next month to set as much money back as we can to cover those costs. Please pray for us as we continue to save money, cut cost down for our family, and think of creative ways to pay for this wonderful adoption.
Since we received pictures of Pen we have not been able to stop looking at them. She is absolutely beautiful. We can’t wait to hold her. I got a great call from Carol, the director of IFS, and she told me they were working to get Pen out of the orphanage and get her into a foster home. This is wonderful news b/c she will have the opportunity to eat better and be visited by a doctor once a week.
We got all of our paperwork done in record time. No joke, everyone at IFS said we finished all of our paperwork up in record time. Thankfully it is making it rounds and hopefully it will be in Ethiopia in a matter of weeks. We are hoping to get a court day when they open back up from the rainy season (I’m not totally sure when that is). We are hoping and praying to have Pen home around Christmas, but it may be more like January.
Please remember us as we prepare for this new addition. Pray for our 4 year old son River. He is so excited but I know it will be an adjustment for him b/c he’s been an only child for so long. Pray for Courtney as she prepares our home for this wonderful new arrival. I know she feels a great deal of pressure to have everything perfect. Also, pray for Pen. Pray God will protect and provide for her. Pray that this will be as smooth as a transition for her as possible and that we will be able to tend to her needs well, whatever they may be.
Again, this has been an amazing journey so far and we cannot wait to see what else the Lord has in store. We know that this is just the beginning of an amazing story that our God has written for our family. God has done an amazing job of glorifying himself through this process and we pray that he will continue to do so and are humbled that he would use us in His wonderful plan.