Thursday, December 15, 2011

Officially a family of four!!!

Ethiopia day 4 ~

Today was the big day. The day we have been waiting for and the main reason for this first trip to Ethiopia! Today was our court appointment to make the boys legally ours. The Ethiopian court system is very random and does not make full sense even to the Ethiopian staff at HH. We were picked up by one of the HH drivers at 8:30am and drove about an hour to the court house. It was a small room located in a pretty big building. We waited in silence for about 2 ½ hours for our agencies name to be called. We then went into another room along with a staff member from HH and the other adoptive family that has been here with us at the same time. It seemed like such a simple process once we were before the judge. She simply asked yes or no questions such as “have you met your children?” and “have you learned about the Ethiopian culture?” among others. She told us that once we passed court today that there was no undoing this adoption. The other family was told that they passed right there in the courtroom but for us and our boys she said that there was a typo in the spelling of our last name and she could not pass us at that time. My heart was racing. “What does this mean” I thought. I asked “H” (the HH staff member who was with us) what this meant and if it would delay any paperwork being submitted to the embassy. He told us that he had gone to MOWA (Ministry of Women Affairs) earlier this morning and submitted the correction. It would then be submitted to the judge by the end of the day for her approval. We were so happy and felt do very relieved as “H” assured us that everything was fine. Later that afternoon when we went back to HH to be with the kids we were met by “A” who told us that we passed court this afternoon! “so the boys are ours now?” we asked. “Yes” she said, “the boys are yours” Those were the words we have been waiting to hear and it was so great to hear them. Our boys are now OURS!

Today was a long day. In between the courthouse and going back to HH. “D” took us to a market where we were able to get some Ethiopian paraphernalia. We wanted to get some things for the boys to help them remember their Ethiopian culture. We found some really cute traditional Ethiopian outfits for them as well as some animal pictures made from banana leaves to hang in their room at home.

Another huge highlight of our day was being able to go through the boy’s photo albums with them. This was such a milestone especially for Noah. We put together an album for each of our sons so that they can look at it often and remember us when we are away from them. It has mostly pictures of Andrew and I with captions that say “Daddy” and “Mama” in both English and Amharic (Thanks to one of the special fathers). It also has pictures of our house, the boy’s new room and even our dog “Kimber”. Noah’s face lit up as soon as he saw his photo book. He studied every photo for a long time and pointed to Andrew and I and then back at the photo of us. It was so great to watch him identify us as daddy and mama. It was so precious to see how proud Noah was of his book. He wanted all his little friends to see it and he wanted to sit on our laps and flip through the pages over and over again. The whole scene just totally melted my heart! Colton really is too young to know what a photo book is but he sure did like to chew on the pages with his 4 small teeth that are starting to erupt. We bought him a baby photo book that is made of fabric and has lots of fun colors and things to touch.

Thank you for all your prayers everyone! We are amazed by the power of prayer and have felt so supported through our journey to our boys!

These are pictures of us showing Noah and Colton their photo albums for the first time.

~ Getting to know our boy’s schedules

Ethiopia Day 3

Well, today we got to spend most of our day with the boys at HH. Andrew and I both spend time getting to know our boy’s personalities and routines. HH does a great job keeping all the kids on a schedule that works for everyone. Colton (“U”) falls asleep everyday at about 10:30am no matter what is going on around him whether we are in a meeting with the boys and the HH director or playing outside, he falls asleep in our arms like clockwork. Noah (“B”) is getting use to his schedule too with lunch at 11:30am and then a nap for 2-3 hrs. Every day we have (unwillingly) been escorted back to the hotel during the early afternoon for our lunch and a rest. Although we have wanted to just stay at HH and be with the kids it has actually been good, especially for Noah to be able to re-charge before we go back in the later afternoon.

Noah is a really good eater and often times asks for 2nd and 3rd helpings. Today Andrew fed him with the fork which turned out to be a great bonding experience for them. Most of the days they eat injera with some chopped meat, potatoes and of course SPICES! We asked the staff if the meals are prepared with bland spices but they actually use spicy spices just like what the adults eat. We are so glad that we have practiced making Doro Wat and other Ethiopian dishes so Noah will have some familiar foods to eat when he comes home.

Colton is 7 months now and we plan to keep him on the bottle until he is 2 years old and start introducing baby food and rice cereal sometime after his first birthday. We learned that all the babies in Ethiopia are breastfed exclusively until they are 2 years old. We know that at least one bottle in the evening up until he is two will really help with bonding so that is our plan (we have done quite a lot of research on bonding and attachment of the adopted child ).

Tomorrow is are court appointment so Andrew and I would so appreciate prayers for that!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ethiopia Day 2~ Where are my white people?

Ethiopia Day 2

This will be a short post tonight because we are pretty exhausted from our full day! The highlight of course was being able to spend more time with our boys at Hannah’s Hope. Noah (“B”) was very excited to see us again today which was nice to see because we had to leave him crying in one of the special mother’s arms yesterday. Noah again wanted to play with stickers with Andrew again. We also brought some bubbles today and he was so cute as he tried to blow into the bubble wand. Most of the time his blow was so strong that no bubbles would form but is when he did manage to create a bubble he would make sure that we both saw it. He is a very smart toddler and has been picking up English words even just since we have been there. He does not speak Amharic like the special mothers do because he came from a region that speaks a different language.

Noah wanted to do everything just like daddy (Andrew) and if Andrew would sit a certain way in the courtyard, Noah would be right there sitting in the same position. It just melted my heart to see that. Towards the end of the day our driver and special father at Hannah’s Hope “W” came to see if we were ready to go back to the hotel (we never are). He told us that everyday Noah would ask the staff at Hannah’s Hope “when do my ferenghi(white people) come?” It breaks my heart to think that every week or so he sees other families come to visit their new children and up until this point no one has ever come to him. The staff has told us that they have tried to explain to him that we are here now but have to leave for while but then will be back to take him and his brother to America. I know that he is only a toddler but I really hope that he has been able to grasp this concept even just a little.

Colton (“U”) was just as happy as can be again today. He almost never stops smiling! He is at that curious stage where he is wanting to look around at everything, especially anything colorful! I put him into our Moby wrap again today and he was less than thrilled because he wanted to play so he was quickly out of it again.

Today we also met the director of Hannah’s Hope a wonderful Lady “A”. She helped us fill out our I-600 forms and told us a bit about the rest of the process. Our next step is very unpredictable. We have to go home and wait for our embassy appointment. “A” wasn’t able to give us a time frame as the way the Ethiopian government processes these cases seems to be quite random. She told us to pray for a miracle because we are now at the mercy of the government and it is completely out of our hands as well as our agency and Hannah’s Hope staff. We know that we will get an appointment to come back but we need prayer that the case will process quickly.

Well, wish I could write more but must get some rest for another day with our boys tomorrow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Day Our Lives Changed Forever~ Our Gotcha Story part 1!

Ethiopia Day 1~ Picture of the boys at the bottom

Well, we arrived in Addis Ababa Ethiopia late last night and traveling went really well with no long delays or luggage hassles. We were so tired by the time we got to our hotel but we were also too excited to sleep right away. I stayed awake thinking of what the next day would bring. We would be picked up and taken to Hannah’s Hope to meet our boys for the first time. I didn’t really know what to expect. Would the boys pay attention to us or would we be just another white couple coming and going? Would they want to be held or would they shy away at any attempt to show them affection. We really did not know what kind of emotions we would encounter for both us as well as our boys.

10:30 am our driver “D” was in the hotel lobby to take us to HH. There is another sweet couple here as well for their first trip court appointment and they were preparing to meet their little baby girl for the first time. We were all so excited as we climbed into the van. The drive to HH was only about 7-10 minutes from our hotel which was nice because I was already getting so inpatient to get to the boys.
We turned onto a bumpy road and soon saw the infamous black gate separating us from HH. This was the gate I had seen so many times in pictures and videos from other adoptive families over the past 2 years. My heart must have been pounding at 150 beats per minute as we drove into the courtyard. As the van drove in we immediately saw young kids running towards the van to greet us. Our driver asked who is getting “B”? “We are” Andrew and I said. The van door swung open and we saw our son Noah "b" looking up at us with the most precious eyes and hand extended up to us. I think I was so overwhelmed by emotion that I kind of froze for a few seconds. It seemed like it took Andrew and I forever to climb down out of the van to greet him. Noah (B) immediately warmed us to us as if he already knew that we his parents coming for him. From all the referral pictures we had seen we were expecting him to be much bigger but he is actually quite small. He is suppose to be around 2 ½ or 3 but he was wearing sizes 18 and 24 months.

After playing ball with Noah for a couple minutes, Andrew picked him up and “D” showed us where all the babies were being cared for. As we approached the courtyard area in the shade we immediately knew who Colton ("U") was amongst the other babies. He was sitting in his little baby chair on the mat just smiling away. I rushed to him and picked him up! He took a quick look at me and then proceeded to lay his head down on my chest and snuggled into me. My heart was melting more and more by the minute. It was an unbelievable feeling to finally be holding our sons in our arms. Such as answer to prayer that they warmed up so quickly!

We spent the next almost 4 hours just holding them and playing with toys. Noah loved the stickers we brought and soon Andrew was covered in them. Noah would put a sticker on Andrew and then put one on himself in the same location. He also knows a few English numbers and letter and he counted the stickers “ one-two-three” as he placed them on daddy! Noah really attached himself to Andrew right away and after playing for a while he fell asleep in Andrew’s arms. When one of the special mothers tried to take him away for nap time, Noah pushed her away and buried his head into Andrew’s chest. This was so encouraging to see the bonding already taking place. While Noah napped, I held Colton and fed him his bottle. As he sucked on his bottle he looked up at me with wonderful eye contact for quite awhile with a very content look on his face. He is such a happy baby and has the most infectious smile. Colton can sit with a little help and can roll over but has not started to crawl yet. We think he is about 7 months but he was wearing 12 month pants. He has definitely been well nourished and appears to enjoy all his bottles.

The time went by so fast and before we knew it our time to leave for the day had come. We managed to squeeze out a little more time but we needed to be sensitive to keeping the boys on their nap and eating schedules as much as possible as well. I carried Noah up to his bunk bed and tried to hand him to the special mother. He wrapped his legs around my wait and started crying. He didn’t want me to put him down and apparently didn’t want another nap either. It was so hard to leave him there while he was crying and I felt myself tearing up as I walked to the stairs. I know that this is a small glimpse of what is to come when we have to leave Ethiopia without them on this first trip. I can’t even think about it without getting so emotional.

Well, as difficult as it was, we came back to the hotel for a bit of a rest and ate some Ethiopian food in the hotel restaurant. I can’t say enough how much we both LOVE Doro Wat and injera. Andrew and I then decided to venture out into the community a bit and had a walk through some of the streets where people were selling mostly food items and plastic sandals. Then back to the hotel for some emailing and updates.

Well tomorrow we have some HH orientation and we will fill out our I-600 forms. We will of course have more time with our boys as well!

We could only post one because of the internet connection. We cannot post their faces on the internet until they are legally ours but take our word for it they are stinking cute!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prayers answered!

We wanted to update everyone on a huge praise we received just moments ago while sitting here in our Munich hotel! We got an email from our case manager that our boy's birth mom safely arrived to her court date yesterday and everything went smoothly! We are truly praising God! Thank you everyone for you prayers! We are going to try to sleep now, it has been an incredibly long 30 hrs without sleep! ;)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane TOMORROW! Ethiopia or Bust!

Well, the time has finally come that we have been waiting for for over 2 years! Tomorrow we embark on the most exciting adventure of our lives, we meet our precious baby boys for the first time. We have prayed, pondered, waited, and waited some more for this day to come and now that it is here it seems so surreal.

Over the last couple days I have found myself nervous with excitement. I don't really know how to explain this new emotion. I am anticipating what it will be like to see and hold my boys for the first time and to be honest I really don't know what I will feel and that is what scares me a little. Even though we have not met the boys yet we have fallen in love with them already. However, we are preparing ourselves for a less than climatic response from the boys when they see us because we know that until we bring them home, we may simply be viewed as another couple white people coming to visit the children at Hannah's Hope. They are very young still and up to this point every adult figure has come in and out of their lives. We know that it will take time for bonding and attachment to happen and that is why we will be taking at least 6 weeks off work after we bring them home (hopefully in January:)

Anyway, I am sitting here now in our living room as family members are "helping" us get all packed and ready to go! My sister-in-law Carolyn pulled out our brand new Moby baby wrap and helped me figure out how to use it so we will be ready! It holds a stuffed panda so it should work for our 7 month old right?

We are taking off a week early and spending a little time in Austria, Germany and France before heading to Ethiopia. My wonderful mom is coming along with us for this first trip too which makes it even more special. I am taking my husband and mom to see where I went to school and worked as nanny in Schladming, Austria when I was just out of high school. We are also possibly meeting up with Andrew's uncle in France. We are excited to make the most of this opportunity to do a little extra traveling as well but of course our main focus and source of excitement hits when we land in Africa :-)


Please pray: 
***For our boy's hearts, that they would be prepared to meet their new parents!

***My mom's foot. She broke it several weeks ago and she is currently wearing a boot on it and she still has some pain.

***That the boy's birth mom would show us for her court appointment tomorrow so that there won't be any delays in the processing of paperwork. Also for

***For safe and smooth travel

We will be updating the blog as often as we can while in Ethiopia. We are told that the internet at the hotel in Addis is hit and miss so we will do our best!

Thank you all for your support and prayers! We look forward to sharing our journey with you all!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We need your help!!!

We are collecting items to take with us to the orphanage (called Hannah’s Hope) that our boys are living at in Ethiopia. We will be packing up the donations to take on our second trip (probably in January). There is a great need for donations, especially the expendables listed below. If you would like to donate some of these items please let us know! Thank you so much for making a difference in the lives of these children!

Needed Donations:
• Baby wipes (this is always needed)
• Bibs
• Hand sanitizer
• Diapers of all sizes; please include preemie sizes
• Infant and children’s vitamins
• Formula: vegetable-based Similac, soy-based Similac, as well as regular formula
• Bottles: Avent bottles for both 8-12 ounce feedings.
• Diaper rash cream: Desitin is preferred, but A&D ointment or Butt Paste is also useful.
• Baby shampoos and baby oil
• Shampoo, conditioner, and lotion for older children
• Age appropriate development toys for infants and toddlers
• Blow up balls/outside toys
• Sidewalk chalk
• Bubbles
• Children’s DVDs and CDs
• Men’s and women’s deodorant
• Kleenex boxes
• Twin sheets (mainly flats) in children’s patterns

***If you can donate any items please let us know by email: or find us on facebook! We would be happy to come pick up your donated items or meet you anywhere!

                                                      Hannah's Hope

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We were praying that we would receive a court date for before Christmas but after reading other adoptive family blogs yesterday I started getting somewhat discouraged that a before Christmas date was not in our future. It seemed like so many families had been waiting for weeks and months to hear word of a court date. So yesterday while driving to the hospital I just came to peace with the fact that we would not be traveling until January. It wasn't that I was running out of faith but more that I was trying to think about things realistically. The Ethiopian courts are not what they used to be in terms of processing time. I told myself that January would be better because the airports would not be so crowded with Christmas travelers. I told myself that this way Andrew and I would have a bit more time to raise more money for our trip. I also told myself that God was in control and that I would stop worrying about the date.

Well, God IS in control and He is faithful! At 8:30 this morning I woke up to AGCI calling my phone. I leaped out of bed and answered my phone while trying to sound semi awake! I heard K's voice on the other end and she sounded very excited. She quickly said, " How would you like to go to Ethiopia to meet your boys???" Wow! Another shocking moment in this journey of adoption! I could barley believe what I was hearing! After yesterday I was fully prepared to play the waiting game for several more months before hearing word of a court date and within just hours of giving it all to the Lord we get our date! 

Our court date is just as we prayed for. Before Christmas. The date is December 14th!!!! We will be arriving a few days early to spend time with the boys at Hannah's hope so we will most likely be leaving Seattle Dec. 10th! 

Prayer requests:
***The boy's birth mother has her court date on Dec. 1st and she needs to attend this date in order for us to keep our date. Please pray that she will be able to make it as she has to travel a long ways. Also pray for her heart as this has got to be the hardest thing a mother could ever do.

***Pray for all our travel arrangements too (we are leaving in 6 weeks)! We need to find the least expensive airline tickets.

***Continue to pray for the boys as they are adjusting to being a Hannah's Hope. Pray that God would be preparing their hearts to meet us too!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and for rejoicing in this great news with us!

A Big Thank You!!!

We want to shout out a special thank you to The Laha family and the firefighters and their families for all the support you raised for our adoption at the cider squeeze last Saturday! We feel so blessed by all of your support, prayers and words of encouragement over the past 2 years! We are so excited for our boys to meet you all and see how many people love them! We are also excited to attend the Laha's cider squeeze next year with our boys! THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bringing our boys home one Etsy item at a time!

So, last year after we were done with numerous fundraisers I told Andrew (my hubby), "I don't ever want to do another fundraiser again!". I really hate asking people for donations even if it is for such a wonderful cause. Maybe it's a pride thing but I just really hate it! With that said, I am humbling myself yet again and opened an Etsy account today to help raise a bit more to go towards our adoption. When we set out on this adoption journey we really thought we would be adopting one child and we kinda budgeted for one. When we received our referral for two baby boys last week we were completely overjoyed! We then realized that everything is now times 2! We need to purchase an airline ticket for our 3 year old (about $1000) and several thousand more in the care  and country fees while they are in Ethiopia under the care of Hannah's Hope!

So, I do have a few items for sale on Etsy and I would be delighted if you would take the time to browse our "Adoption shop"! :-)

In addition to Etsy, I am picking up as many extra overtime shifts at the hospital as possible! Andrew did that last year but now the fire station does not offer overtime anymore...:-(

Thanks for looking everyone and God Bless!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Referral acceptance packet sent!!!

We got all our documents notarized this morning and then sent our packet via UPS! We decided to use UPS because the post office is closed Monday due to the holiday and we didn't want to lose even one day of processing time. We also payed the big bucks to get it there next day (Monday). It should arrive at AGCI's office at approx 10:30am ;-) I think that the lady at the UPS store thought we were crazy as we triple checked the address, payed an outrageous amount to have it sent and took a picture of the envelope before handing it to her. Oh well, what can I say? We are baby crazy and totally in love with our precious boys. I have been spending way too much time just staring at their photos the past few days!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Celebrating our baby blessings with Ethiopian food!

Most of today was spent filling out paper work in our referral packet. I am always amazed by how much adoption paper work there is at every stage of our journey! Just when we think we have filled out every possible document imaginable, there is yet another.

We had two phone meetings today too. One with a social worker from AGCI to go through our transition plans for the boys.We covered issues such as bonding, sleep disturbances, behavior etc. It was recommended to have the boys sleep in our bed with us for the first 6 weeks they are home. Our S.W. also advised us to buy a good baby sling and carry our infant boy close to us in the sling for at least 6 hours a day to help promote bonding and attachment. It was a really good phone meeting because there were so many things that we just hadn't thought of yet.

We also had a consultation with our adoption specialist pediatrician from the UW. The pediatrician went over both boy's medical exams that were done at Hannah's hope. He said that he was very pleased with what he saw in the medical exams, labs and photos of the boys. He did say that our 3 year old is probably more like 2 to 2 1/2 years of age based on weight, height and number of teeth. We may end up adjusting his age once he has an official medical exam at the UW.  Praise the Lord for healthy babies!

At the end of the day we decided to go out and celebrate our baby blessings by going to our favorite Ethiopian restaurant for some traditional cuisine. We so love Ethiopian food! 

Many of you have been asking us about the names of our boys. We have decided to keep their Ethiopian names as their middle names and give them new first names. We have several ideas but have still not come to a decision on what those are yet. We will let you all know when we finally decide!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The best phone call of our lives!

WE RECEIVED THE CALL! The phone call that we have been waiting for for almost 2 years!
Here is the story of our referral call in a nutshell!
   Yesterday morning I was working a 12 hour shift at the hospital and Andrew was in the middle of a 48 hour shift at the fire station (perfect timing right?). At approx. 9:30am I went for my coffee break and checked my phone as I usually do. I noticed that I had just missed a call from our adoption case manager "K" a few minutes earlier. "Darn" I thought. "I always miss her calls". I was wondering why she had called because it wasn't time for our monthly check-in call yet. I figured it must be a paperwork issue or something. I decided I would try giving her a call back before my break was up. To my surprise "K" answered right away and said she was so glad that I called back because she had some exciting news for us. I immediately started shaking and felt like I was in a dream. She said that she had a child referral for us, in fact she had TWO! "Two?" I didn't know if I was going to be able to contain myself after I heard those words. I just felt like squealing with joy! "K" waited until I resumed my composure and then began to tell me a few details. She said that they have to brothers ages 3 years and 5 months! "Oh my goodness" I kept saying that over and over again. I could not believe this was happening. I was really wishing that Andrew was right there with me so we could find out at the same time. I asked "K" if I could call her on my lunch break because I didn't want to know anymore details until I told Andrew. I tried to call him on his cell right away but he didn't answer. I was freaking out because I really wanted to tell him about our referral call right then. I went back to work and was trying to stay focused on my patients for awhile. I tried Andrew again a few minutes later but still no answer. "Ahhhh, he must be on a call right now", I thought. It just so happens that Andrew was not at his regular station because he was working for another firefighter so I had no idea what station he was assigned to. I frantically called a station that I had the number for and they gave me the number to the station he was at. I'm sure that firefighter thought I was a crazy wife on the phone. No answer at that station either. Now I was really freaking out! Of all the times to not be able to reach my husband! I again tried to focus on my patient load. It was a really busy day for me and I had a pretty critical patient that needed my full attention. I silently prayed that God would ease my mind and I would be able to do my job without constantly thinking about the life changing call I had just received (at least until lunch break;-). About one hour later I got a call on the hospital phone from Andrew asking "What is the Emergency?".  "We got the call!" I tried not to scream those words as I stood in the middle of the busy nurses station. I briefly told him all that I knew, which wasn't much at that point and quickly had to hang up. He had been in the middle of his fire drill when he heard I was trying to contact him with an "emergency". Okay maybe it wasn't an emergency but very urgent I would say ;-) On my lunch break I was able to connect with K again and get all the details about "our" boys.
   It has been over 24 hours since we got "The Call" but I still feel like I am in a constant state of shock, amazement, excitement and so many other emotions that I have never felt before! We are going to be "ready-made parents", no kids to having a 3 year old and 5 month old in a very short time. We are so thankful to God for allowing us to receive our referral at this time. Despite many days that we felt hopeless that this day would never come, we now see that God was and is in the details of this and His timing is perfect.

So.....what are the next steps for us?

1) Meet with a pediatrician at the UW that specializes in international adoption for a consultation on Friday.
2) Phone meeting with a social worker from ACGI to discuss our transition plans on Friday.
3) Fill out paper work (again) and get documents notarized in our referral packet and send off to AGCI
4) Wait for our court date in Ethiopia (about 2 weeks).
5) Fly to Ethiopia to meet our precious baby boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prayer requests!

**Please pray for safety for the boys as they are adjusting to living at Hannah's hope.
**On Monday, the 3 year old fell while playing and fractured his leg. He is now in a cast. Please pray for healing.
**Pray that all our paper work will all go smoothly and there will be no delays.
**Pray that we will receive our court dates soon and can travel to meet our boys before Christmas.
**Pray that God will be preparing the boy's hearts and emotions to meet us and with the transition of coming home!

****We have decided to not put up any pictures of the boys or background information until they are legally ours. We do have the option of showing part of a photo without faces but we would rather wait!
If you would like a sneak peak at photos we can show you in person! They are SOOOOO cute!

 More info to come! Thank you all for being a part of this journey with us for the last 2 years! Thank you for your continued prayers, support and love! We can't wait to bring home the boys so they can meet all of you and see how many people love them already!
Megan & Andrew


Thursday, September 29, 2011

A dusty nursery...

Well, I just finished cleaning all the dust off the nursery room furniture and re-washing all the baby clothes I bought last year. It has been just over a year since I finished painting and decorating our baby's room with firetruck decor. I was filled with joy as I made up the crib's bedding and hung curtains. I was picturing how I thought things would be once we brought home our baby from Ethiopia. I pictured my husband holding our child while rocking him in the rocking chair in the corner. I envisioned how cute our child would look wearing all the baby boy clothes that I had recently picked up at summer garage sales. Now it is difficult for me to look at the items in the nursery. I never thought that it would take this long before we got our referral call and brought our baby home to our family. I honestly wish that I had more encouraging posts to write to you all but lately I have not had many positive days. Please continue to pray for our baby or babies. Pray for safety where ever they are right now. Pray for the Ethiopian government that they will process cases faster and so we can get our referral call soon! Thank you all!

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him".
1 Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something Tangible!

So today was one of those days in our adoption journey that I woke up thinking to myself, "will we ever get our referral call?" and, "Is this really going to happening?".  Unlike a pregnancy, we don't have a child to feel moving in the womb or even an ultrasound. As soon-to-be adoptive parents, we have numbers. We wait. We wonder. And then we wait some more. To help us see something tangible as we wait for our precious baby or babies I made a countdown chain type thing for our waitlist numbers. We hung them in our living room today so we can see them everyday and continue to be reminded of our child.

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him".
1 Samuel 1:27

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My strange addiction!

I am really starting to drive myself crazy right now and I KNOW I am driving my poor husband even crazier. Yes, I admit I have an addiction.

I can't stop checking my phone, checking other adoptive family's blogs and analyzing every possible situation. I have located every waitlist family below us and I am constantly checking their blogs or Facebook to see if they got "the call". If another family receives their call then that means than we are one spot closer. I daily talk over every possible or not-so-possible scenario with my husband and his usual reply is "uh huh" or "that is exciting honey" or "it will happen when it happens sweetie". Man I wish I had as much patience as him. Or at least half of it. Maybe it's the soon-to-be mom in me that can't stop fantasizing about the moment our life changes forever. The moment that we hear our agency say "we have a baby boy for you".  "Lord please give me patience, endurance and faith as I wait on you for the perfect moment you have already chosen"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Official September Numbers!!!

 We actually got our official numbers today over the phone which was earlier than normal. We usually do not receive our numbers until the middle of the month! We are very excited to be so close to meeting our precious child or children soon!

 Baby boy (3 months-12 months)

 Baby boy siblings (3 months- 3 years)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New August Official and Unofficial Waitlist Numbers!

                                     Baby boy (3 months - 12 months)

There is the official waitlist numbers that we receive from our AGCI (our agency), and then there is an "unofficial" list that is based on the number of referrals made. Most of the unofficial list is tracked through other adoptive family's receiving their child referrals!

So.....Unofficially we are NUMBER 8!!!!! Single digits baby! This means that we really could receive our referral call within the next 1-2 months! YAY!!!!!!!

                                     Baby boy siblings (3 months - 3 years)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Low numbers please!

we were told by our agency that would be getting our new august waitlist numbers this week! We are really hoping and praying for some good movement on the list like last month! Please join us in prayer today as we pray for low numbers! We will let you all know as soon as the numbers our in!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's kinda like being pregnant for two years straight......

Yes, my belly may not be any bigger and I haven't had complaints of morning sickness but I definitely feel like we have been pregnant for a very long time. This November will be two years we have been waiting for our little one(s) from Ethiopia. We are getting close, very close but that doesn't mean that this road has been easy. Unlike pregnancy, we really don't know the due date. Will we get the call tomorrow or will it be another 4 months? Are we having one child or twins (siblings)? We wait patiently (or not so patiently) for our new child wait list numbers. Some months we are encouraged by the movement and others months we are discouraged. We watch all our friends get pregnant, have their baby and then by now possibly a second. This adoption journey has been filled with so many struggles as well as joys. We feel that it has truly strengthened our marriage and our faith. We are asking that all of you pray for us as our journey is really just beginning. Please pray specifically that we would receive our referral in the next 3 months!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New summer adoption numbers for July!

                                         Baby Boy (3-12months)
             Baby Boy Siblings (3months-3years)
We are excited to announce these amazing wait list numbers for July! We moved 6 spots each from last months numbers. We have averaged 4-5 spots a month since we started the adoption process. This means that if all goes well, we should be receiving our child referral in 3-4 months! Please pray that the rest of these months will go quickly as we continue to wait for our babies!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April showers brings great wait list numbers!!!

We were completely surprised to see such movement on our adoption wait list for this month! With all the talk about delays in adoption case approvals we were expecting to see a halt in our numbers but instead we moved up significantly! We moved 6 spots on the boy list and 3 spots on the sibling list!

                 Baby Boy Sibling group (3 months-3 years)

        Baby Boy (3-12 months)

Our adoption shared a passage from Isaiah 30:15 with us this week that brought us great encouragement as we wait. It says; “…in quietness and confidence shall be your strength...” We would really appreciate your continued prayers as we journey through this incredibly challenging (and exciting) time for us! Thank you all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

March Waitlist Numbers!!!

Despite all that has happened with new delays with our adoption process in Ethiopia, we still received pretty good numbers for the month of March! 
~Sibling Boys~

~Baby Boy~ 
 What do the numbers mean?
Well, we moved up 6 spots on the boy list (from 35 to 29), and 2 spots on the sibling list (from 24 to 22)! Yay we are in the twenties for both now!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Joint Council Emergency Campaign for Ethiopian Children

Please Go to this link and sign this petition! THANK YOU!
The Ministry’s plan to reduce intercountry adoption by 90% is a tragic, unnecessary and a disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the intercountry adoption process.

We support the Ministry’s goal of ensuring ethical adoptions that serve the best interest of children and serve all vulnerable children & families.

We respectfully urge the Ministry to consider the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations.

Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers, further ensure ethical adoptions and expand services to more families and children.

We, respectfully urge the Ministry of Women’s, Children's and Youth Affairs to reconsider its plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families.

A test of our faith...

Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Please pray for us and our future children as we are really struggling with an overwhelming amount of discouragement right now. We want so badly to start our family and everyday that goes by gets more and more difficult for us. The waiting is almost more than we can bare at times. We know in our hearts that God has a plan for our future family and that our child/children are out there somewhere but it does not make the wait and struggles that come along with this process any less trying.

Please pray that this current decrease in the number of approved adoptions would be resolved and that our adoption agency as well as other agencies, can continue in their work of placing children with their forever families!

Please Pray!!!

Please pray as you read this update with the current adoption process in Ethiopia.

Statement on the Pending Reduction of Intercountry Adoption in Ethiopia

Last week the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced their intention to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% beginning March 10, 2011. The Ministry’s plan for a dramatic reduction is apparently based on two primary issues; 1) the assumption that corruption in intercountry adoption is systemic and rampant and 2) the Ministry’s resources should be focused on the children for whom intercountry adoption is not an option. Without further announcements by the Government of Ethiopia, it is our understanding that the Ministry’s plan will be initiated this week.
The Ministry’s plan is a tragic, unnecessary and disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the adoption process and fails to reflect the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers and further ensure ethical adoptions.

The Ministry’s plan, which calls for the processing of only five adoption cases per work day, will result not only in systemic and lasting damage to a large sector of social services, but will have an immediate impact on the lives and futures of children. Moving from over 4,000 adoptions per year to less than 500 will result in thousands of children languishing in under-regulated and poorly resourced institutions for years. For those children who are currently institutionalized and legally available for adoption, the Ministry’s plan will increase their time languishing in institutions for up to 7-years.

Joint Council respectfully urges the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs to reconsider their plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Adoption Humor

You Know You're Adopting When...

  • You keep an extra copy of your dossier in your car just in case the house burns down.
  • You stalk the mail person on a regular basis.
  • You feel more connected to other adoption bloggers than you do to some members of your extended family.
  • You’ve had more yard sales this year than you have had in your entire life.
  • You are now on a first name basis with the employees at USCIS.
  • You worry about, dream about, and are completely in love with a child you have never met.
  • Your heart skips a beat when the phone rings.You have given your Case Manager a special ringtone on your cell phone (AGCI loves this one!).                                ~Provided by AGCI

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our New Year Wait List Numbers!

Baby Boy Siblings (3 months-3 yrs old)

*We jumped 5 spots this month!
And yes, that is the 24 TV show logo :-) 

Baby Boy (3 months-12 months)
* We jumped 3 spots this month!

God is in Control!!!