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."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two trips again


New post from our agency about the 1 trip/2 trip rule. Since we don't have our referral yet, this will mean two trips for us!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Court Travel Decision Made
As many of you know, today the adoption agency representatives and court officials in Ethiopia spent the entire day meeting and discussing the new requirement of having families present for their court appointment.

The court is standing by the original decision to require families to travel for court. This regulation will not begin until mid-May, 2010 in order to give as many families as possible the opportunity to submit their paperwork and court application.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. good friends received their referral today for an 8 month old baby girl!!! Very excited for them!! Check out their blog...some of you might know them from Westside a few years back :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bit of news

Some good things are happening in the adoption world! Nope, we haven't moved up the list lately. We are still #4 but hoping for some list movement soon :)

Here's some other information we've heard lately:

I'm not a fan of the Obama Health Care bill, but I have to admit it has brought some surprising news to adopting parents.

1. The maximum credit was increased from $12,150 to $13,170.

2. The ATC is now retroactive to January 1, 2009. This represents a potential increase of $1,000 for adoptive families.

3. The ATC was made refundable. If a family has no tax liability, the IRS will refund the amount due.

Rumor has it that we might not be going to Ethiopia twice. One agency reported a new sign in the Ethiopian court building stating the rule was suspended. Another rumor says the Court President is out of the country and will make a decision later. The changes may not take effect until after the rainy season. My mind is mixed up if this makes me happy or sad. We would love to save the money, but I was getting really excited about seeing our little bundle earlier. I guess we are still waiting to know for sure...

I just got a little raise today! Starting out the weekend right :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Round Two!

A few years ago, My friend and I were hiking through Colorado National Park and we laughed about how we needed to have children at the same time. We vacation a lot with this family and it would be perfect for our kids to be around the same age. Little did we know, our boys would be born one day apart at the same hospital!

I also have another set of friends that are just like family to me. In fact, he had been popping my toes (I can't stand that) for many years. Just like a brother :) Well, he found a wife in Florida and imported her back to Texas. My new sister and my good friend found out we were all pregnant and we became the three amigas!

And we all had little boys...

Well, here we go again! We have just found out that we are all pregnant! sorta...I'm what you would call "paper pregnant." As my friends' bellies grow, I will be a little sad that I won't have the same experiences. I'll miss the baby moving in my belly and being the first to see her born. However, I do have an inner snicker because my feet aren't going to swell and I won't throw up four times a day :) And I'm 100% sure I'm having a girl!!!

Wouldn't that be cool if we all had girls in round 2?

Praying for three more beautiful and happy babies!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My mind is mush

There are so many thoughts rattling around in my head, it will be amazing if this makes any sense. From the very beginning, I have heard that international adoption is a roller coaster and downs with new rules and changes. Your emotions are riding in the car right behind them. Well, here we go again. Except, I'm not sure if this is an up or down.

Today Ethiopia has announced that parents are to be at the court hearing. In the past, your agency represents you in court and you travel two months later for your Embassy date and bring your child home. Now, we need to be there for both. This means two trips to Ethiopia. The reason they have started this is because there is an increase in "revocation" cases. This is where a family passes court and does not pick up or accept their child. I have NO idea how anybody could do this, unless the agency was untruthful about their age or health. To insure this doesn't happen in the future, they want parents to meet the children before it is official.

There are so many questions floating around right now. Our agency is digging for answers and will hopefully know something tomorrow.
1. Do both parents need to appear in court?
2. How long is the first trip?
3. What happens if you do not pass court or MOWA is in training? (very common)
4. Who does this affect? Those who haven't filed for court already? One agency said it was only for brand new adoptions.
5. Will there be a longer time frame?

Mike and I have talked about this and we will both go on the first trip and I will go on the second. It should be a whole lot easier the second time because I'll be familiar with the scary stuff - like finding my way through airports and customs, yada yada. The only real drawbacks are $$ (of which we don't have yet) and zapping all my vacation time. Oh, and one more HUGE drawback. We will have to say goodbye on the first trip and leave her in Ethiopia for 8-10 weeks. I will probably cry all the way home. And that is a long plane ride :)

But - on the brighter side!!! There are lots of things to look forward to if this effects us:
1. We will get to hold our baby two months sooner
2. If relatives are required to be at court, we can meet them and take pictures
3. Get to experience more of Ethiopian culture
4. More raw camel kidney...oh, just kidding
5. We can take TONS of pictures. No more waiting for a few precious pictures from travelling parents. We'll have albums full to look at while we wait for our Embassy date.
6. We will know what size clothes and shoes to buy for her. Lots of pink!
7. I've heard court in Ethiopia is not like anything in the US. I will be able to describe the whole experience to our daughter one day
8. Be there the day they officially announce she is ours forever

As this starts to sink in my brain today, I am calming down. I do love to travel and can't wait to meet my daughter. I'll leave all my thoughts with the Lord and know the details will iron themselves out. They always do.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good news!

We heard great news yesterday that our embassy dates will probably not be delayed by the US government. It seems the investigations will only be with certain agencies and specific orphanages. IAN and Sele Enat are not on the list. Wew! Being on the waiting list is very hard. But those who have travelled ahead of us say it gets much harder! Once you see the adorable picture of your future child, every day is in slo-mo until you are standing in the orphanage. Adding weeks or months would have been torture. For the sake of my sanity(no wise-cracks), I'm very glad to hear this news.

Yesterday, they had a special on the travel channel about Ethiopian foods. The man was eating camel kidneys - RAW. How many oreos can you fit in a carry-on? Just kidding. I will try and be adventurous when I am over as long as it's cooked. Besides, who could eat such a cute camel like this? Maybe Mike will let me bring one home :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

The good and the bad

Good news! I won the give-away for the hand-carved art! That's so cool. This will be our first piece of African art to start our collection. I hope to pick up a few more in Ethiopia so our daughter can see how connected and proud we are of where she came from. I have been thinking a lot about this lately and I don't want her to forget her heritage. Our agency is starting a Ethiopian Culture Camp this summer for all the kids to learn a little Amharic, music, dance, and cooking lessons. I know it will be several years before our daughter is old enough to go, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Plus, it's located in Colorado during the summer. Great place to vacation and camp!

So, here's the bad news. Today the US government released a statement that all Ethiopian adoptions will be under review before we receive our embassy appointment. You can read about it here. It seems there has been some publicity lately about an agency that was not practicing ethical adoptions. So, the government wants to do additional research to prove the children are true orphans. We are not sure if this will delay our embassy appointment and when we travel to pick her up. The website says a few weeks or a few months. EEEK! Our agency is contacting everybody they know to try and get clarification on this.

I'm really happy that our government is doing the extra work to protect the children. I hope they find the ones that are corrupting the system and take away their license so they cannot hurt any more children and families. I hope this does not slow down the good agencies and the children that are waiting to be with their forever families. Some people believe this is the beginning of the end of Ethiopian adoptions and it will close just like Guatamala and Vietnam. I am trying to stay really positive about this and hoping they are just cleaning up the bad guys. Lots to hope and pray about and I will keep you posted as I hear anything.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh so close

You guessed it! We have now moved up to number 4 on the list! Mike has been doing some math and figured out we move an average of once every 1.5 weeks. At this rate, we might be getting our referral in the last part of April. I hope it will sooner because I can't wait to see the face of our sweet little baby.

Can you guess what this ring is made from? A pool ball! I'm not sure how they did it, but it's a very unique idea.

Beautiful Art Giveaway!

We have some good friends that are adopting from Ethiopia and she is having a contest on her blog. All you have to do is leave a comment and she'll put you in the drawing for this gorgeous hand-carved art made by a Christian in Zimbabwe. Of course, I don't know why I'm posting this, because I would love to win it myself :)

Here is the link to her website. Good luck!