Thursday, May 28, 2009

I was looking at our checklists and all we have to get done is our medical forms for both our home study and Dossier. Our appointments are Monday. So then we will have all of our paperwork together. YAY!!! We are taking our last adoption class tonight too! We also still need to apply for I600A. I am excited how fast we got everything together. Now it's waiting on the home study to be written. I am assumming it wont take too long. We will see....I am soooooooo overly excited!!!! I can't wait to meet our baby!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The girls with their new African doll

maggie's soccer pictures

So Maggie is done with her first year of soccer and loved it. I wanted to post a couple of pictures for everyone to see. She had an awesome time and can't wait to play next year.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I took this from some elses blog, but it gives you a little info about our agency and the process

All God’s Children (AGCI); our international agency has it’s own orphanage in Ethiopia called Hannah’s Hope. “Hannah” is the name of the founder’s daughter, adopted from Romania a decade and a half ago. It is directed by a woman named Almaz Asresahin, an Ethiopian who lived and studied in the US for 14 years. The orphanage houses 65 children ages 3 months to 15 years. At Hannah’s Hope, all children are screened for HIV/AIDS, syphilis, and Hepatitis B and C prior to being referred to families. Under Ethiopian intercountry adoption law, HIV/AIDS positive children are not eligible for international adoption. We have to wait because, although there are over 4 million orphans in Ethiopia, Hannah’s Hope has room for only 65 at a time. After making our way through the waiting list we will receive our “referral”. This is the moment families wait and hope for. These days a waiting family will receive a call and then an emailed picture and history (both personal and medical) of a child. The family has a set amount of time (usually 3 days) in which to except or not except this referral. AGCI requires that parents speak to an international physician about the child’s medical history to make sure they realize what they are signing up for or are comfortable with the unknowns. Our international pediatrician gave me his cell phone and wants me to contact him as soon as possible. He too has adopted internationally and is eager to help us accept our referral a.s.a.p. If the family excepts the referral the staff at Hannah’s Hope begins the court proceedings to adopt this child on their behalf. There is a request for a court date and then we wait for the Ethiopian courts to review our case and approve the adoption. many...don't pass court the first time for a variety of different reasons, almost always out of our control. After the adoption is official, parents usually travel within 6 weeks to pick up their child. The issue that we will encounter is the yearly summer break the Ethiopian federal courts take. They completely shut down in the months of August and September. This creates a huge backlog of cases waiting to be seen. AGCI estimates an average of 3-5 months from the referral date to travel, but clearly this annual shut down adds months to that time frame. Barring a speedy referral and a trouble free court date, it seems we will be effected by this delay. Each country is different- some require parents to come to the country and visit the child before excepting the referral, then leave again for 6 + months before returning to bring the child home. Ethiopia only requires one trip, and only one of the parents is required to travel. All of the legal proceedings are rapped up before the parents travel so it is a relatively efficient system. Our little guy will travel home on a IR-4 Visa and then be re-adopted here in the states. Even though he is officially ours without doing this, the re-adoption will make things much, much more easy in the future for him and for us.

for those of you who are wondering...

I have had a few people ask if we were adopting a boy or girl. We chose to leave that decision up to God. We didn't get to pick with the girls, so it just feels like the right thing to do. We really would love to have a boy. The wait list for a baby boy is shorter than a girl, so chances are we will be having a son. We haven't decided on names. We will just wait and see...


I haven't posted anything in about 10 days, so I thought maybe I should. Last week I applied for my passport and I took some documents for our home study and dropped them off. We have completed 4 out of our 6 adoption classes. Once we are done with those and get our physicals done on the 1st we are done with our part of getting everything together for the home study. yay!

For our Dossier we have to get back our power of attorney that is being "state certified", our physical and TB test, and our people that are writing our letters of recommendation need to get us those letters and we have everything together for our Dossier. Also the home study has to be completed as well.

I think we are doing REALLY well getting all of our "stuff" together.

We also are getting ready to apply for our I-600A.

We are going to be leaving for vacation in about 11 days, so I plan on finishing up classes and everything before we leave. We also have to complete a 20 chapter workbook for AGCI called With Eyes Wide Open. We will be doing this on vacation when the girls go to bed at night.

So this is what has been going on.

We are so excited to get this process moving along. We think about and talk about our baby everyday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Home study appointment

Today we had our home study appointment in our home. It went really well. We had to answer bunches of family history questions and so on and she had a look around our house. We really had a great time during the appointment and the girls were angels! I am so happy that they were so well behaved. They usually are, but you know kids...

We are getting lots of stuff done that needs to be done for both our home study and dossier. I think we have gotten an excellent start. The biggest problem we have ran into is our doctors office and trying to schedule physicals and tb tests. They have to squeeze us in somewhere and I guess can't figure out where because they keep telling me to call back or if they say they will call back they dont. We will get it figured out.

For our home study all we need is our physicals and pick up our criminal history letters next week. And we have to finish all of our adoption classes online.

For our dossier we only have a few things left as well. I have to figure out when we can apply for our 1600 A. Which is an immigration thing.

So things are going well. I just wish we could pick our baby up next week! I have to be patient!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

a few statistics...

  • Ethiopia's doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000
  • One in ten children die before their first birthday
  • One in six children die before their fifth birthday
  • There are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia
  • 720,000 children have been orphaned by aids alone
  • 1.5 million people in Ethiopia are infected with HIV
  • 60 percent of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
  • Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school
  • 88 percent will never attend a secondary school

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

AGCI phone call

Today we had our run through for our dossier with AGCI. Through talking with our case worker it made me feel a lot more comfortable with all of the paperwork we have to do. I am still very overwhelmed right now. She said it was great how much we had already gotten done for our home study because we actually had to get together more stuff for that.

We are going to the city county building on Friday to get fingerprinted and get a criminal history report. I am also going to go pick up copies of our birth certificates.

We signed up for our adoption classes that we do online. We started our With Eyes Wide Open workbook tonight. It has 20 chapters so hopefully we can get it done within the next few weeks. We have 6 online courses that we have to take.

Everyone continue to pray for us as we go through all of the processes. I am really a go getter and want to get things done "right now". I am going to learn some patience throughout our journey!

Oh, how I can't wait to meet our baby.

We turned on the TV the other night and American Idol was on and one of the previous American Idols went to Africa to help out. Maggie saw it and said "that is where our baby is!" she is so precious and she was right. That is where our baby is. It is so real.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We received our Dossier packet yesterday and all I can say is "wow" we have a lot of work on our hands! I am really excited to get all of it done! I was thinking this morning how much stuff we have to do and then I thought here in a couple of months it will all be done. It won't take long. As long as we let God take control of it all it will not be stressful. We just have to remember that! I am anxious for our phone Dossier run through tomorrow with AGCI, so then I can understand a little more of all of all we have to do.

We are feeling a big ball of emotions right now. Happy, anxious, nervous, scared, worried,'s tiresome, but I know it will be worth it all in the end when we are bringing our new little bundle home.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

the paperwork goes on...

Today we had our office appointment with Adoption Support Center. It took about two hours. We signed some paperwork and answered a bunch of questions about our relationship with our parents, grandparents, siblings, each other and our kids. And we also had to describe ourselves. That was really hard! Trying to describe ourselves isn't the easiest thing to do. We helped each other out.

We talked to the lady from the bank today and she broke the news to us that we weren't approved for the amount that we thought we were. It covered our first payment to AGCI, so that worked out great. I know that when we are trying to do what God wants us to do Satan tries to intervene. I also know that God doesn't want us to solely rely on this line of credit. He wants us to rely on Him! and we are going to. He is going to do amazing things.

We also sent in our orientation packet and first payment to AGCI. I was so excited to finally send it in!

Our next step is to have an in home visit for the home study. We also complete our dossier. We will receive all of the dossier paperwork from AGCI after they get our orientation packet, which will be tomorrow. Next week we have to go to the police station and get fingerprinted and get background checks. We also have to take a 10 hour course online. Lots and lots of stuff to do.

We never knew how much "stuff" you had to do when you are going through an adoption, but wow it is a lot. But totally worth it! We are so excited! Just to think that our baby probably has been conceived is amazing! oh we cant wait!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7


Today we had all of our orientation papers notarized. While we were at the bank we applied for a line of credit to start paying for our adoption expenses. We were instantly approved, which was a surprise because we thought it would at least take a few days for an approval. We have really been praying that all of this process would be smooth and so far so good. We will be sending in all of our orientation stuff next week to AGCI. We also start our home study this coming Wednesday. We are just so overjoyed! This is really happening!

Friday, May 1, 2009

pictures of the girls

Here are a few recent pictures of Maggie and Hazel. Hazel loves swinging on the big girl swing. She says "wing" and gets mad if we dont let her swing. Maggie loves dressing up and playing her guitar. She is a diva or she would probably say a rockstar.

Ethiopian Baby

Yesterday I needed some confirmation that this is what God wants from us. After our orientation call Lorinda from AGCI emailed out a picture of this baby. The parents are in Ethiopia right now picking her up. We look at this baby and know that God has a special baby for us. A baby that he wants us to raise. What a beautiful child and definitely confirmation!