Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Moving Along...

We had our first homestudy visit today. It went well I think. :) Really excited to be in this part of the process.

We also had our first phone call with our case manager to go over all of the dossier paperwork. Wow--we are slightly overwhelmed. But already tonight we've at least gotten organized (my favorite thing to do, btw). Tomorrow hopefully we'll get more papers notarized, etc. And then we're off to PA for a few days for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Books

I'm starting to order Christmas gifts for M and T. I think I'm going to make them an Ethiopian gift package. :) This is what I have so far...

Books about adoption for siblings.
1. Ten Days and Nine Nights by Yumi Heo
2. Seeds of Love by Mary Ebejer Petertyl and Jill Chambers
3. Waiting for May by Janet Morgan Stoeke
4. A Sister for Matthew by Pamela Kennedy

Ethiopian culture books.
1. Our First Amharic Words by Stacy Bellward
2. E is for Ethiopia by Lori Prodan & Keith Holmes
3. The Story of Coffee by Sultan Mohamed

Toys from Amharic Kids (www.amharickids.com)
1. Amharic Color Bean Bag Set
2. Amharic Number Bean Bag Set

Oh, and we just found out that we are starting our Homestudy tomorrow! Very exciting. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Story...

So, why adopt?
From the time that we were dating and talking about what we thought our future family might look like, adoption has been a part of that picture for our family. We wanted to have two biological children (check) and then we wanted to pursue adoption. The thought that there are children who go to bed each night without a family seems wrong, and while adoption is not the solution for world poverty or disease, it is a solution for an individual child.

Why Ethiopia?
As we started the official process, choosing a country was one of the first major decisions we had to make. Three factors influenced our decision.
1. We want M to be the oldest child in our family and so we needed to adopt from a country with children who are younger than four.
2. The length of travel needed to complete an adoption needed to work with J’s job and M and T—we will be in Ethiopia for two one-week trips (as opposed to a month or more as required by other countries).
3. We want to be a part of a solution for a child in a place where there is great need. All children need families to call their own. There are ~ 145 million orphans in the world, 5 million of them are in Ethiopia. (How do you even begin to comprehend that number?)

Where are we in the process?
We are in the paperwork/preparation process. As I write this we have completed all of our initial applications and paperwork, we have completed several courses and we are now CPR certified :). We are scheduling our homestudy to begin in the next several weeks. Once our homestudy is complete it will be sent to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to be translated and then we will be sent a referral. We are anticipating adding a sister to our family, although we are open to a sibling group. As we learn more, we will be able to make a more informed decision about what will work best for our family.

We’ve been talking to M and T about adoption for a long time. I remember talking to M earlier this year about how some children don’t have mommies and daddies or even nice beds and good food to fill their bellies. It was bedtime so M wanted to pray for the children. When she finished praying she asked, “Did the children say ‘Uhh!’ when the beds came down?” I was a little confused, but I eventually figured out that she thought that Jesus would immediately help the children by just dropping what they needed from the sky. Sweet innocence. :) And literally every time we drive by the airport M pretends that one of her bears is flying in an airplane to either Disney World or to Africa to take the children books and shoes. So love her little heart. :) Right now she is excited to have a sister to share her room, to talk to her at night and to share the clothes that are too little for her.

While still early in this process, we have had to ponder some of the hard stuff of life. We can only imagine what it must be like to no longer be able to care for your own child because of either death, disease, or poverty. We long for the birthparents to know how much we will love and care for their child. And for the child herself, we are only beginning to understand how difficult it will be for her to leave everything familiar and loved. But it is with great joy that we welcome her into our waiting family.

First Post

We are starting this blog to document our life as we begin the journey of adoption.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Welcome to our family blog! We are in the process of adoption from Ethiopia through All God's Children International (AGCI).