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."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This wait is not for sissies

As of right now, we have NO IDEA what is happening with our cases. We have asked for clarification that Liyone can come home with the negative smear tests and not have to wait on the sputum results. We haven't heard an answer. We also don't have a clue what is happening with his birth family interview. They tried to squeeze them in on Wednesday, but it didn't happen. They haven't set a new date yet, so I'm not sure what that means.

The embassy also wrote us back about Kidist's case. They received the additional paperwork they needed 10 days ago. When you ask the status of her case they say it is still under administrative review and will let us know when she clears. They give no further details about the delay.

In the meantime, the Embassy is running slow next month and the dates are filling up fast. I've heard the latest appointments are July 18th - July 25th. The best we can hope for now is to travel late July or early August. Don't be surprised if I go a little early. I'm really missing those kids!

Hopefully next week we'll have some good news to post!!

Man! I need to get to Ethiopia! How can you resist this cuteness??

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just keep swimming....Just keep swimming...

Here's the latest update! We have INCREDIBLE news and some not so good news.

First, the good news! The Embassy did perform the smear tests and Liyone had THREE tests come back negative for TB!! The physician believes they will allow him to come home and they will send the sputum results when those are finished. You can't imagine how happy I am about this!! I was dreading the first trip because I didn't know how to handle the emotions of only bringing home one child. Liyone would be expecting me to take him home, and I didn't know to make him understand. What does "not yet" mean to a three year old? But now I should be able to bring them home at the same time!! I had unpacked Liyone's clothes from the suitcase (in tears) the other day. It was a wonderful feeling to re-pack everything!! Of course, I added even more toys this time :)

So, now we are waiting for one of the children's birth family to come to an interview at the Embassy. The Embassy picks random cases to interview to make sure there is no fraud involved in the adoption. They might ask questions like if they were paid for the child or if they really understand what is happening. It sounds like the meeting was scheduled and the family was contacted. Then late last week, the Embassy moves up the appointment to an earlier time. The family is traveling by bus from 500 miles away and didn't make it on time. The next available date isn't until July 6th or later. Can't they squeeze her in somewhere??? Ridiculous!!

Rumor has it, the employees at the Embassy take their vacation and train new people during the month of July. They cut their appointments and visas down to half. After reading blogs and yahoo posts, it looks like they are already booked up until July 14th. We are still hoping they can clear Kidist. So maybe, just maybe, we can get a date for her towards the end of July. Then when Liyone is clear, they'll let us bring them both home. We'll be praying a lot about this!

And...more pictures from another great family. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Where are we now?

Still waiting :)

In our last episode, we found out Liyone's skin test was positive for TB. They gave him a sputum test and now we wait eight weeks for the results. We had asked the embassy if they would clear Kidist to bring her home early.

I talked with the TB division of the health department and they said children are not contagious. Their lungs are too small to cough up the infection. They are willing to sign a special letter claiming they will take responsibility for his treatment and medication, if he does have TB. I asked the embassy if I could file this waiver (along with the nice $585 fee) and they will not let us yet. What is really frustrating, is that the health department said they could do a smear of the sputum test at two weeks and have some results. She said not to get our hopes up that the embassy will do this test and we'll probably be waiting the eight weeks.

We also heard that a birth family member of Liyone must travel from their home, 500 miles away, and have an interview with the Embassy. They randomly do this to ask questions, like if she was illegally paid and if she understands what is happening. We are hoping that goes well at the end of next week.

In the beginning, the Embassy agreed that clearing Kidist first is a possibility. So, I've emailed twice about Kidist and my agency has also tried. They finally emailed back today and need three more documents. It sounds like our agency has already gathered those documents and are getting them translated. Hopefully they can be submitted on Monday and we'll hear something soon :)

As for me, my bags are almost packed and I'm ready to go! People seem surprised that I am so patient. Honestly, I'm not! Can you really call it patience if you don't have any other options?? For the last week, I have in my head the little song from Nemo..."just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

In the meantime, WONDERFUL people have been sending me pictures of the kids. This is really helping to get me through! Thank you so much!

My son is so handsome...even in a butterfly shirt :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

New pics of the kids


I can't wait to hug them again!

The very bad news...

As I type this, I can't even see the screen. My tears just won't stop this evening as I think about the news we have heard this week. We were hoping to go pick up the kids any day, and now we will pick up the baby and leave Liyone there for several weeks or possibly months.

You see, to get their visas, both of the children had a medical exam at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia. We found out this week that Liyone's skin test came back positive for Tuburculosis. This does not mean he has TB. You can test positive if you have had the vaccine or if you have been around somebody who was sick. He looks like a very healthy boy and does not have any of the symptoms, like the cough, fever or chills. The doctor that visits the care center has not found anything wrong with him either. But, the Embassy did a chest x-ray and it came back unclear, so now they would like to do a sputum test. This test takes eight weeks to get the results.

They will not let Liyone into the United States until they know for sure he does not have TB. We are praying that the test comes back negative, which is very common. Then he will be cleared immediately for his visa and we can bring him home. If the test comes back positive for TB, he must stay in Ethiopia another 6-8 months and take an antibiotic to get rid of the virus. They say less then 10 children a year have to take the antibiotic, so the odds are very good that the test will come back negative.

We have asked the Embassy if we can come pick up Kidist first. They have agreed and are still reviewing her file. As soon as they say yes, I'll be on a plane and bringing her home. Mike will be making the second trip just as soon as we get clearance for Liyone. We are hoping August, if things go well.

Please pray that he will be able to understand what is happening. I'll be able to see him every day on my trip to pick up Kidist, but he won't be able to come home with me, like he is expecting. He cried last time when we left, and I just don't know how to see this happen again. Especially since we don't know how long it will take. Please pray that the test results come back as quick as possible and they come back clear! This little boy has had a rough life and we need to get him home!

Friday, June 3, 2011

We are submitted!!


It's official!! Our paperwork has been delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia! Now they will review our file and let us know if we are cleared or if they need more information about the children. If we clear, we can schedule an appointment and book our flights. Sometimes, they ask for additional papers, police reports, or even have a member of the birth family come testify again. I'm hoping they do not make that request of us, as Liyon is from a region 500 miles away!

We would normally hear their response around Tuesday or Wednesday. But, earlier this week, we found out one of the super most important papers was not signed. Panic! So, we notarized and expressed new ones to Ethiopia. It should arrive at our agency on Monday and we are hoping this will only delay the answer by a few days. I've asked the embassy to contact me directly, so they will e-mail in the middle of the night with their decision and to schedule the appointment. I'll be up several times to check. So, I apologize now for the grumpiness and saggy eyes from the lack of sleep next week :)

It's already started happening. I guess your body just knows something important is coming. After checking last night at 4:00am, I finally drifted and had the craziest dream. Somebody had given us a HUGE amount of donations! It was more then I could ever fit in my luggage. Crazy part of it was...they were all hanging from the ceiling. I spent the rest of my crazy dream wondering how I was going to get the large boxes of diapers and clothes down. odd.

Two families in our travel group have cleared already!! We are soooo happy for them! I'm hoping the last two will quickly follow :)