Thursday, May 11, 2017

Please Help Us Petition!

Friends,

We are desperate and trying to contact everyone and anyone who could help bring our sweet son home! We are part of the 20 families who are legally going to have custody of our child, but have no idea when he will be home due to the Ethiopian government's suspension!

Please sign and share!  

CLICK HERE

Monday, May 8, 2017

COURT DATE


MAY 18TH- ZANE BECOMES A WOODSON!

We can't wait to meet him and have him in our arms!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Not the Update I Wanted to Share

We know that many of you are anticipating our court date and our travel ALMOST as much as we are! We have literally been stalking our mailbox all week for our approval letter that was supposed to come any time now. I kid you not, I went to the mailbox three times yesterday just to make sure, and Jeffrey has been running home on his lunch break every day to check.

We don't know if it is because of the Easter holiday or some other reason, but it still hasn't come yet. Once we receive the letter, we scan it and email it to our adoption agency and within a week, we should have a court date. A week after that, we should be in Ethiopia.

So yes, although we are disappointed that the letter hasn't come, this is all really exciting news, and we can't wait to hold Zane in our arms and legally become his parents.

Because we know so many of our friends and family pray for us daily and are invested in our adoption, we don't want to keep you out of the loop from what is happening. The last two weeks have been absolutely devastating, and we haven't been able to tell you all what is going on because we were trying to process it ourselves and trying to find more information before we received a lot of questions that we didn't know how to answer. Guys, I have been physically sick over this and we have both been emotional wrecks the last two weeks but this week especially. There are still a lot of unknowns, but we wanted to give you the information we do have.

Two weeks ago, we received news that the transition home that Zane is currently living in will be closing permanently May 31st. This news shocked us as we knew we would probably meet Zane and pass court before then, but we wouldn't probably clear the Embassy before then. The home he is currently living in is a privately owned home and is just great for him and for us. They send us monthly emails with pictures, health updates, emotional and developmental updates. There is a doctor there, a psychologist there, and a better ration of nannies to children than government orphanages. We had many questions the biggest one being WHERE WILL HE BE MOVING TO? Sadly, all the kids are being split up and will be moving back to the first orphanage they were placed in. Because Zane is from a region far from where he lives now and a region that is currently experiencing a lot of unrest, they would most likely place him to an orphanage he has never been in. We knew right away that this was not good for him because he would be experiencing a lot of trauma and then a few weeks later experience more trauma as he comes home with us. When you take a child out of their environment and place them somewhere where they don't know the people, the routine, or the place that is trauma.

OUR PLAN: After processing this new information, we decided that we would go to court and legally become Zane's parents and then before the home closed, I would fly back to Ethiopia after my school year ended and before the home closed and take custody of Zane early and wait for our approval through the US Embassy. This would mean I would probably be in Ethiopia 2-3weeks longer than we expected. We were going to have to find a place for Zane and I to stay, but we would avoid the transition to the government orphanage and begin attachment and bonding with me.

No worries we had a plan in place. It was going to cost us more money of course for me to stay in country, but we would figure it out and make it work. This was the best scenario we could come up with and we knew that it was short term, so we could do it.

Well....

Last week our plans were destroyed, and we were completely devastated with the news we received from the Ethiopian government.  Click Here if you want to read the Department of States official notice, but I will summarize it for you. The government branch in charge of adoptions has decided to suspend all adoptions in the country. They are saying it is temporarily, but we have no idea how long this could really last. I don't want to tell you how long some suspensions have lasted in the past. I can't speak it or type it. We need this branch of government to sign off on one more form in order for the US Embassy to gives us clearance. So what this means is that we can still go and pass court and become Zane's parents, but they have no idea when he will be allowed to leave the country. He is stuck in Ethiopia.

OUR PLAN: We feel helpless. Right now we are praying A LOT, and waiting for more news. We are so sickened by this news as we were so close, and we were sure he was coming home within the next month or so. We ask that you keep us in your prayers.

If you are praying this is what you can pray for:

1. MOWCYA LIFTS THE SUSPENSION AND ADOPTION CASES START MOVING
2. ZANE'S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
3. ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN AND FAMILIES WHO ARE EFFECTED BY THIS
4. WISDOM FOR US TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS AND  FOR PEACE

We will keep you updated as we find out more info. I am not going to lie, I am really struggling with this and I don't understand it. The one thing that I find peace in is knowing that God loves Zane far more than Jeffrey and I ever could and I am trusting him with my baby.

Love you.




Monday, April 10, 2017

Bi...No, Tri... No, Quadlingual?

We know one of the challenges Zane is going to face when he comes home will be language. After doing a little more research on Zane's family, tribe, and region, I discovered that the language spoken in his first home and maybe his second was not the language that he is speaking now. 

Zane currently speaks Amharic. His nannies also speak Amharic. We had kind thought that they were maybe trying to teach him a few English words to help with his transition, but we can't help to laugh every time we hear his new "English" words.

Today, I received an adorable video of Zane waving to us and playing with a toy. Heart melting. I wish I could share it with you. The funny thing is the lady who sent me the video made the same comment that two others have made. The nannies were quite proud and wanted them to catch Zane saying goodbye to the camera. The funny thing is Zane is saying "Ciao". Yes. The ITALIAN word for goodbye. Now don't get me wrong, I think it would be absolutely adorable for him to say "Ciao" all the time, but I after hearing this the second time, I started to question the English abilities of his teachers. Today was the third time, and we just laughed at our sweet little African boy learning "Ciao". So I had to write about it because I don't want to forget about these sweet little memories of his early years. 

We know that Zane is potty trained except at night. We thought it would be helpful for him to know some English words referring to potty since we will be on a 16+hour flight and will need some communication. In one of our monthly updates, the nannies were elated to write that he now says the word "Kaka". I died! Okay, he knows "Bye" in Italian, and now he knows Spanish!

Through different conversations I have had with other Ethiopian moms, I have learned that Zane's nannies speak minimal to no English. So the English lessons probably weren't going as well as I had imagined.

He calls Jeffrey "Baba" which I think is adorable.  "Baba" is father in many African languages. 

Although almost every word we have heard him say in English isn't really English at all, there is one word he knows and I am pretty partial to it. Zane knows how to say "Momma" and "Mommy". I can't wait to hear those sweet English words in person. Who am I kidding! I can't wait to hear any of these sweet words in person. 

Zane, whether you are speaking Amharic, Italian, Spanish, or any other language you might learn, we can't wait to listen to what you have to say. We promise to be patient and try to do our best to understand what you are trying to say. We know you are going to be frustrated and maybe scared, and that is okay. We hope that you will know when we speak to you we are speaking to you with LOVE, but we may giggle a little when you say "Ciao" for the first time. 



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ridiculous Registry

First off - To the sweet lady at Target who was trying to give me some solid advice on car seats, I am sorry for disturbing you.

A baby shower means a baby is COMING! A baby shower means the end of this waiting period is drawing near. Oh how I have longed for this celebration! There is so much to celebrate!

In the beginning of this adoption process, I thought my baby shower and registry would probably look like your typical registry. Yes, I was going to have to decide on cloth or disposable diapers, and sure I would have to decide what bottle really was the best choice, but besides those decisions, it probably wouldn't be too out of the ordinary. 

I would say much to my surprise, but nothing in this process surprises me anymore and nothing has gone quite like expected (don't get me wrong, I LOVE WHERE WE ARE AT), so of course my ordinary registry has gone out the window as I am now bringing home a toddler instead of an infant. Jeffrey and I have found that we have to find the humor in things, and this registry experience was just too hilarious not to share. 

So, here is my registry story:

It was a brisk Saturday morning, and Leah and I were ready to take on Target and all its goodness. After 10 minutes of trying to get into my Target account, we locked the account and had to use a backup email for a new account. I'm terrible with passwords! 

Once we had the scanner in hand, we were ready to roll. People know that the scanner means you are either having a baby or getting married. Leah and I headed over to the baby section. You won't be surprised to read that in the baby section at Target there are plenty of new moms who have probably recently registered and have all the latest info on all things baby. 

Mom Encounter 1 (Mom and tiny baby): Mom smiles as she sees us with the scanner. We smile back. We are standing near the sweetest little clothes, and Leah says, "Here, we go! Spiderman!" I then scan the Spiderman underwear, and mom's eyebrows raise and the bewilderment on her face could not be hidden. Leah and I smile at each other and continue to scan a few other pairs of little boy undies.

Mom Encounter 2(Mom is alone and seems to be wandering Target because she can): When she sees we are comparing car seats, she is quick to turn down the aisle and offer some helpful suggestions, a few personal reviews, and even a demonstration. I kindly listened to everything she had to say. We even wowed at her demonstration, but I couldn't resist myself. "Thank you so much for all your help, but we are wanting something that converts to a booster. We won't be rear facing." I know she thought I was the worst mom in the world. She was absolutely horrified (which she has every reason to be). She quickly put her cart in gear and got on her cell phone right away! I am sure she wanted to take my picture and report me to DCFS, but Leah and I were dying. 

We left the concerned moms in the baby section, and we headed for the toy aisle. We want Zane to have plenty of sensory opportunities and thought a mini trampoline would be a great solution for days we are stuck inside. Not as many horrified looks for sure, but definitely some interesting ones.

I enjoyed this sweet experience with lots of laughs with my amazing sister! So yes, my registry may look crazy, and maybe it is, but this is such a sweet time for celebration that has been a long time coming. Z Baby, we are ready for ya! 





Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Few Questions Answered (maybe)

We have had so many people ask us lots of really great questions about the adoption. We have also been wanting to make a few videos about the adoption process. So here is the first video! We're excited for more to come!

Love!







Friday, January 13, 2017

The "Lucky" Misconception

The other day a friend said something that struck me, and I thought it would be an interesting and maybe challenging topic to write about.

One of our friends had asked us how old Zane was and after we told him, he said that's good. Maybe he will remember his life before you guys and be way more appreciative. I understood where he was coming from, and I know he wasn't trying to be offensive, but it just pained me when I heard this.

I know people don't mean anything negative by it, but I think there is a misunderstanding about adoption. Often I hear Zane is so lucky. Zane will be so grateful. 

I want to set the record straight.

We hope to raise Zane in a way where he will see the goodness and blessings that our family has received. He will be involved in community projects and world projects at a young age. Ethiopia will be a common subject, and we hope to find ways to give back to his village and his country. But please understand this. We (Jeffrey and I) are the lucky ones. We (Jeffrey and I) are so honored and blessed to be this little boy's parents.

You see as great of parents we hope to be, Zane has nothing to be grateful or appreciative about when it comes to his adoption. Like mentioned in my blog before, adoption was our first choice, but I guarantee you it was not Zane's. Many of you can easily see that this beautiful little boy is gaining a mommy and daddy, but please do not forget he is also losing so much. A few months ago, I was so wrecked with the idea of everything he is losing: his language, his culture, smells, sounds, taste, everything that is familiar (whether that be the best or not). There is nothing lucky about losing everything at such a young age. Zane's full story is not ours to tell you, so I won't, but know that it hasn't been a happy beginning for him. So you see, as beautiful and a blessing this adoption has been for us, those feelings may not be the same for Zane, and we are completely okay with that. 

On the note that maybe he will remember some things. My prayers have been that while he is in Ethiopia, God will instill things in him that only Ethiopia can give him. Jeffrey and I are hoping to do our very best, but we know we will fall short, so as we are waiting, our prayer is not that Zane remembers the traumatic or the painful, but that he develops a love for his people and his country. We pray that even though he may not recognize where certain characteristics and qualities come from as he gets older, we pray that he is beginning to develop into the strong, wonderful man that God has planned for him to be!

Zane will not be indebted to us in any way. We have loved him long before he was born. Sure we hope he is grateful just as we would hope for any child, but we don't feel his adoption should be a part of that.