Author Unknown

Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Mother Teresa

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moving again!

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Yeah! We are now officially #12! It is a good way to end the year. I did have a dream the other day that our coordinator emailed us and said they have babies for the first ten families and we should get prepared. That was a great dream.

Here is a picture from the other day. Believe it or not, Texas actually had snow for Christmas! I heard this hasn't happened since 1926. Here is a picture of Cole and his first experience with snow. You notice he isn't touching the snow and was very worried that his shoes were messy. He didn't move an inch.



Adrian wanted a room makeover for Christmas. It was sad to take out the dollhouses and stuffed animals, but I guess my little girl is growing up. Here is a picture of her new room.



Here's a couple of pics from a holiday car ride:



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Received our I-171H

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I-171H? What is that? That means we are officially Grade A approved by the US government to adopt. This also means that our fingerprints were clear and we are not criminals. (I was starting to wonder about Mike and his love for Mafia Wars on Facebook.) Now we just need to make a little movement up the list :) I've been trying to guesstimate when we might receive our referral. If we move at the same pace they did last year, it will probably be May. That would be a great Mother's Day present. An "early" Mother's day present would be even better :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fingerprinted!

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Today we had our official appointment at the USCIS immigration office for fingerprints. It was super cool how everything was digitally saved and passed - makes you feel like you are on CSI or something. I was surprised to find out it was located in the food court of a Hispanic mall...not what I was expecting. Made me hungry for Pancho's ;)

Now we just have to wait and find out if we are criminals. Not that I remember doing anything bad - but who knows who could have stolen our fingerprints and used them for some international scandal. I sure hope not because I don't look very good in penitentiary orange. Plus, I have a good feeling they don't serve nachos in jail. So, hopefully we will get a letter in the mail that we passed.

And...no movement on the wait list. I'm starting to get pretty antsy about that :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tick Tock

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Well, it has officially been one month since the last referral from our agency. I bet some of you were thinking I was just lazy and hadn't posted in a while :) Very good guess if you know me well. Actually, I heard a few things from one of my yahoo groups that made me start to worry. They said Ethiopia closed their adoptions to Australia. Those poor people on the wait list!

So, I emailed the nice lady at IAN and asked if everything was ok. She said not to worry. It seems that Ethiopia requires agencies to give humanitarian aid in return for being able to adopt. Australia is not run by agencies but works government to government. They are not willing to pay humanitarian aid to Ethiopia so they pulled the plug. She assured me that it would not happen to America because several thousand dollars of our agency fee goes to help the orphanages.

She also explained that every year, the courts in Ethiopia close for a few months for the rainy season. After they have opened, we have tons of families that have passed court and are waiting to travel in December or January. The orphanage and care center are full and not able to bring in new children. I heard sometimes the orphanage will sleep two or three in a bed. Once the families start picking up their children, then our list should start moving again. We are with a very, very small agency and I've counted 15-20 families that are waiting for the embassy date to travel. I'm really hoping this slow time will be followed by a ton of referrals!

I am very excited for all the families at IAN that are going to see their new children soon. I can't wait to be that close!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lucky #13

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Moved up again today! This is great! I keep telling myself this is just a phase to move this fast, but I really hope it keeps going!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

10 Fun Facts about Ethiopia

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Here are some interesting tidbits that I have read on other websites:

1. Ethiopia is almost twice the size of Texas.
2. It is the birthplace of coffee and they have official coffee ceremonies in the home. If you are offered coffee, it is very rude to decline. (what am I going to do?)
3. They claim the final resting place of the Ark of the covenant at a chapel in the holy city of Aksum, which used to be the capital of Ethiopia.
4. Ethiopia has 63 airports. Only 17 of them have a paved runway. YIKES, I hope we pick the right one :)
5. Often women feed the men with their fingers as a mark of love and devotion to them.
6. There are 13 months in the Ethiopian Calendar. Each month has 30 days and the last month has only 5 or 6. New Year is celebrated on September 11th and they are almost eight years behind our western calendar.
7. Homes are a traditionally a round hut called a Tukul. The floor is dirt, the walls are either sticks and/or mud, and the roof is made out of a long grass called Tef. Families like to use magazines or newspapers as “wallpaper” in their homes.
8. Traditionally, parents and children do not share a last name. Most kids take their father’s first name as their last name.
9. Did you know that a large portion of the Ethiopian population claims descent from King Solomon of Jerusalem and Makeda, the queen of Sheba?
10. Ethiopian television consists of just one channel. (Glad we are not taking Adrian :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Moving on up!

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Today somebody accepted a referral for a toddler girl and she was also on our list. This makes three jumps in three weeks! We are now #14. Things are moving faster than I expected. Maybe I need to start thinking about names and figuring out how to turn Cole's monkey room into something half girlish. Cole and the new baby will be sharing for a while. Hopefully, we can get a bigger house and the kiddos won't have to share. But our back-up plan is to turn the front work-out room into a bedroom. We'd have to add a few doors, but anything is possible with my husband :) right, hubby?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Up to #15

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Yeah! Today we moved up to #15 on the list. A couple that was on all the lists accepted a referral for 4 month old twin boys. We've moved up twice in one week. Keep it coming!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Sixteen!

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Today they announced that couple #1 has accepted a little baby girl and everybody on the list moves up! I read on my yahoo blog that the baby is only 3 weeks old. The young couple is so excited.

Here's how it works. When we get to number one, we wait patiently (NOT) for our phone call from the agency. They call and say you have a baby! They send you at least one picture and sometimes two or three and try to give you as much information as they can. There will be a doctor's report and the test results for the major diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. They also give an evaluation on the developmental milestones of the child and how that compares to other children. This would be if she's rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and things like that. Then there is any history of the child. Sometimes they know the parents have passed away and the family could not afford to feed them. Sometimes the child is abandoned at the orphanage and they don't even know a name or birth date.

After your receive all the information (and do the happy dance) then you have two weeks to have a doctor look over the data. It is possible to say no and the child will be offered to the next couple on the list. When you say yes, they schedule your court date. You don't even have to be there for your court date for them to declare the child is yours! They have a man named Abebe that takes care of everything. Once you pass, it takes 2-3 months for all the birth certificates, visas, and embassy appointments to be arranged and you can go travel to pick up your little darling. We will spend about a week in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia visiting her orphanages and talking to the ladies that take care of her.

So, that is what we are looking forward to. We are celebrating our first move up the list, but already checking the website daily waiting for another jump.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Adopt?

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Many have asked us why we are adopting. Sometimes we would even get a raised eyebrow from those who don't understand why anybody would go through the expense, mound of paperwork, and roller coaster ride of emotions. I think it all started several years ago when my boss went to Russia to take shoes to the orphanages. She came back with lots of stories that made my heart ache. I guess I have lived a very sheltered life and hadn't spent much time thinking about what life would be like if I wasn't born American and with a loving family. My eyes were opened and I haven't stopped thinking about it. A few months ago, Mike and I were sitting at our favorite Mexican restaurant and trying to decide if we should have another child or adopt. As you know, all important decisions are made at Lupe's in front of a plate of nachos :) We knew we would love the child the same wherever she came from. Mike suggested we go for it and here we are. We are very excited about our future and can't wait to go to Africa to meet our newest member of the family.

There are going to be lots of bumps in the road with any international adoption. Please keep us in your prayers that everything goes as smooth as possible. And most importantly, please keep our little girl in your prayers...wherever she might be. She might still be in her mother's belly or she could already be in an orphanage. I don't know what sad event will cause her to be adoptable, but please ask God to watch out for her.

Bud, Egg Roll, and ???

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When I was pregnant with Adrian, she was shy and we couldn't even tell if she was a boy or a girl. So, we called her Bud. (That was also the name of our cat and our fish).

When I was pregnant with Cole, we didn't decide his name until the day he was born. So, Adrian and her friends decided to call him Egg Roll.

Now we have the delimma of nicknaming the new little girl. Our agency guesses that it will be between 6-7 months before we receive our referral and find out any information. So, we need a name to call her in the meantime. Any suggestions??

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day

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Here is a beautiful family that has adopted a precious little girl from Ethiopia. Her video has been watched thousands of times and has made a large effort to encourage other couples to adopt orphans in need. When we were only thinking about adoption, I showed this video to my twelve year old daughter. All she could say for five minutes was "order one now!" We hope our child is half as cute as Lucy Lane. Be sure to grab a box of kleenex before you watch!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

#17 on the baby girl list

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Today we are officially on the waiting list for International Adoption Net. When you mail the dossier that will go to Ethiopia, they put you on a list according to what gender and age of child you would like to adopt. Of course, our category has the longest wait. But it will be soooo worth it! We can check the IAN website every day (or 563 times a day) to see if the list moves up. Pink bows, here we come :)