Introducing…our son!

August 21, 2013 by The Rippke's

That’s right! A son!! A precious three year old boy in Ethiopia, who we are naming Solomon N. The “N” is his given  name, but we can’t share that until he’s legally our son. And yes, the hearts are back! Unfortunately we can’t share his face online anywhere until he’s legally ours as well. But if you happen to see us and want to see pics we’re always happy to share! He is SO cute, and his eyes are something…whew.

So, yes, this happened very quickly this time. A quick little back story of how this all happened. Three years ago God called us to start the adoption process. We always knew we wanted to adopt, but at the time we didn’t know how radically that calling would change us and our family. During our first adoption process God broke our hearts, big time, for waiting children. Waiting children are kids that are waiting with an agency and ready to be adopted, but aren’t because there isn’t an adoptive family waiting to be matched with them. Typically this is because of their age and/or special needs. And so they wait. Just like our Elsa girl waited because of her age and special need (HIV+). Just like so many of the kids we met in Ethiopia waited, and are still waiting. We knew immediately that we couldn’t turn away from these kids. That our next adoption process would look different than our first one. There wouldn’t be a wait list. Our parameters (approved age and special needs) would be different. That it wouldn’t surprise us if the people closest to us were a little uncomfortable with the whole thing quite honestly. But we know very clearly that God has called our family to adopt. And we know He has called us to adopt waiting children. And so in July when Nate turned to me and said “I really feel like we should get our paperwork ready for Ethiopia” I emailed our social worker and we went in July 25th to start the home study process again…so that we would be ready, someday, to adopt a waiting child in Ethiopia. We just never expected “someday” to be a month later!! We saw his face a week and a half ago, and made things official yesterday. We are SO excited to introduce our son, Solomon “N”! Elsa’s going to be a big sister!

Mailing off the first round of paperwork!

Elsa’s face when we told her the paperwork was so that we could bring a brother or sister home for her (just a couple of weeks ago).

So what does this mean? Because of his medical needs we need to get him home as quickly as possible. It’s important that he is seen by doctors and specialists here, and gets the possible surgeries and all that he needs asap. We can provide that once home, but there’s not much we can do from here. We need to finish all of the paperwork and pay ALL OF OUR AGENCY FEES (about $17,000) before anything can be sent to the Ethiopia courts. We are going to be working like crazy people to get all the paperwork done hopefully in the next month or so. Because he is a waiting child all of the fees are due VERY quickly. Like within the next couple of months. Yikes!! And so, we come to everyone, and humbly ask for help. We knew from the moment we saw his face that we’d have to ask for help to get him home. Honestly it makes us kind of uncomfortable to ask for it. And we know we may have to do some radical things to make all the ends meet. But we know God provides for His kids to come home. And we know Solomon is no exception. So the fundraising begins!!

Remember when we did Elsa’s “Tag Her Bag” fundraiser? Well we’ve got a bag for Solomon! My mom came home from a garage sale the other day with a bright green suitcase and said “Hey, look what I got for the next time you guys adopt and travel to Ethiopia.” I about had a heart attack. We were praying for clear signs that Solomon was in fact ours, and that we were supposed to move forward with his adoption, and sign after sign were confirming without a doubt that we had to say yes to him! And then the suitcase! We use Elsa’s suitcase like a hope chest. It holds all her keepsakes from Ethiopia, and we are so excited for Solomon to have one as well.

So here’s how it works again: The name of each person who donates any amount will be written (tagged) in black ink on his suitcase…a tangible, visual keepsake for him to have of all the people who have loved us and prayed for us during our wait to bring him home. And a practical way for us to bring much needed donations to his orphanage, and pack for him to come home! Just like we had for his big sis, Elsa Banke.

Donations can be made using this paypal link, via the mail, or in person. Email arippke at gmail dot com with any questions! Thank you for helping us get our son home!!!


  1. I am so excited and filled with joy to hear the awesome news. We will be praying for your sweet boy and your family for all the needs to meet for him to come home.

    Comment by rose lantz — August 21, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  2. All needs to be met!

    Comment by rose lantz — August 21, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

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  • Our Story

    The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water." - Exodus 2:10

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  • Our Timeline

    • Application: 10-30-10
    • Began Home Study: 01-25-11
    • Completed Classes: 02-08-11
    • Home Study Approved: 03-08-11
    • Sent i600: 03-18-11
    • Sent Revised i600: 03-30-11
    • Sent Dossier: 05-26-11
    • Dossier Approved: 06-03-11
    • Girl: 103 | Boy: 81: 06-03-11
    • FDL: 06-06-11
    • Girl: 102 | Boy: 78: 06-10-11
    • Girl: 95 | Boy: 72: 07-15-11
    • Girl: 91 | Boy: 68: 08-19-11
    • Girl: 85 | Boy: 65: 09-16-11
    • Girl: 80 | Boy: 62: 10-24-11
    • Girl: 80 | Boy: 63: 11-22-11
    • Girl: 77 | Boy: 60: 12-22-11
    • Girl: 74 | Boy: 60: 01-31-12
    • Girl: 70 | Boy: 55: 02-29-12
    • Girl: 64 | Boy: 51: 03-30-12
    • Girl: 63 | Boy: 49: 04-30-12
    • IT'S A GIRL! REFERRAL! (switched agencies, got the paperwork a few days later) 05-04-12
    • Sent in dossier 05-21-12
    • Dossier approval 05-29-12
    • Requested I-600 re-fingerprinting date 06-11-12
    • Mailed referral paperwork 06-19-12
    • Dossier sent to Ethiopia 06-19-12
    • Got re-fingerprinting date 06-22-12
    • USCIS refingerprinting 07-10-12
    • WE GOT A COURT DATE!!! 08-08-12
    • Left for Ethiopia 08-13-12
    • Arrived in Ethiopia, met Elsa!! 08-15-12
    • Court Date - PASSED COURT! 08-17-12
    • Left Ethiopia for the US 08-20-12
    • Submitted to US embassy 11-07-12
    • BF to US embassy 11-26-12
    • CLEARED! Nate to US embassy 11-28-12
    • Nate and Elsa Banke home 11-30-12
    • Saw his profile 08-11-13
    • Sent AAI our inquiry 08-12-13
    • Said YES and sent formal application! 08-20-13
    • Formal contract submitted 09-16-13
    • Finished home study visits 09-16-13
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