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Showing posts from 2013

Update on Ethiopia and Adoption

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Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that there were some decisions being made in Ethiopia about international adoption. After posting for prayers, we waited to hear from our adoption agency. Today we final received word on what was happening. This is the information we received from our adoption agency.

Over the weekend in Ethiopia a multiday meeting was held by the House of Representatives along with MOWCYA (Ministry of Women Children and Youth Affairs) officials. Around 400 people were present.  A research paper prepared by MOWCYA in conjunction with Parliament was presented regarding issues of sexual harassment, drug abuse and adoption within Ethiopia.  After the presentation, those in attendance were divided into six groups to discuss and respond to 15 questions.  Seven of the 15 questions were directly related to adoption. Our adoption agency is in the process of translating the research paper and questions.  Each group had a mixed representation of parliament officials, MOW…

1 year DTE

Tomorrow marks one year DTE. In adoption world, DTE stands for Dossier to Ethiopia. This means tomorrow marks that all our paperwork has been in a desk, in a file, in an office, somewhere in Ethiopia for a year.

When we started the program, we thought that today we would be much closer to our baby than where we actually are. When we started the program, we were told that people were waiting around 12-18 months to receive a referral for their baby; sadly, these wait times have changed drastically since we started.

Internationally adoption as a whole has really decreased in the last few years due to a number of different reasons. To give you an idea, in 2010 our adoption agency was able to match and bring home 80 infants and 52 toddlers in the Ethiopia program. This year 17 infants and 8 toddlers were matched. That is a huge difference in just a matter of three years. With these numbers, you can imagine that we are slowly moving up the list to receive a referral. To be honest and give …

THE COUNT

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This week, my dear husband posted a picture of me holding a sign with the time that we have been waiting. This count is from when we were accepted into the Ethiopian Program with our adoption agency. My heart has been ready for adoption for much longer, but this was when the true wait began.

I think sometimes people forget that I have been waiting for so long because I don't look physically uncomfortable, but I am so ready for this wait to be over. I am also a visual learner, so I appreciated his visual representation of our wait.

Thank you all for your sweet and encouraging comments and prayers. We love you.

This has been the most challenging, frustrating, emotional, beautiful, and exciting time of my life. I can't wait for the day- whenever it may be.

Monthly Conference Call

Yesterday, we listened to our adoption agency's monthly conference call. I will say that these conference calls can be very discouraging. There hasn't been one referral the whole month of November, and there was only one in October.


With our government and the Ethiopian government both having shut downs, things have definitely been moving slowly. Not to mention that there is now another step that we have to go through with our government. We are praying for a flood of referrals to come soon!

We were happy to hear that several families have cleared embassy and have brought their children home during this drought of referrals. I assure you the referrals have nothing to due with lack of children. There are plenty of children who need homes; they just are paper ready to be placed with a family. This process is confusing, frustrating, and challenging, but we know in the end it will be so worth it.

One thing I am sure about is that I do feel we picked a great adoption agency that has…

Superman's Mother

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STUCK MOVIE

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Thankfulness

Wow! First of all, I am sorry I have been such a blog slacker. Life has been rather chaotic lately.

As you know, the month of November is a time of year where people express their thankfulness maybe a little more often than other times of the year. People do the daily thankful post on Facebook, they may sit around the dinner table and talk about what they are thankful for, and a wide variety of other ways to show their gratitude. 

At first glance and looking at where we are in the adoption process there can seem very little to be thankful for, but as I look deeper into what we have learned throughout this year, we have so much to be thankful for.

1. We cannot be more thankful for the friends and family who have stood with us as we stepped into this crazy journey. You have prayed for us, encouraged us, and financially supported us. We could not be where we are without all of you! On days that have been tough, some of you have come with just the right words. When we have had fundraisers, y…

Special Orders

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This past Sunday, our church had a guest speaker who gave an analogy that really hit home for me.

When you go to a drive-thru and order something special that is not on the basic menu, they ask you to pull over and wait. As you are waiting, others may be driving through and getting their orders. At times it may not seem fair that other people are receiving their order, but you have to remember that you are asking for a special. Sometimes, special blessings require a little longer wait.

Update on the Conference Call

Last week, I told you that we were supposed to hear from our adoption agency about current wait times. WARNING: I have been delaying this post because it is heartbreaking. The current wait time for a family to receive a referral (match with child) is 30-36 months. As far as the unofficial list, we have not really moved.

I hate writing discouraging news like this, but Jeffrey and I feel like it is important to keep all our friends and family in the loop. We know that many of you pray for us and think about us often, and we want you to know what is realistically happening.

So, it sounds like we have a long journey ahead of us! December 28th will be one year that our papers have been in Ethiopia although we have been in the adoption process since last May. December puts us at 12 months for what our adoption agency is referring to when it comes to wait times. This puts us at possibly two more years after December (CUE THE CRYING/SOBBING). I am like many of you still struggling with the fact…

PHOTOSHOOT FUNDRAISER

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WE ARE SUPER EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE OUR NEXT ADOPTION FUNDRAISER!
 Christmas is just around the corner, and you need a family photo for your Christmas card! Some of you may want to give photos as gifts! Others may just need an updated family photo for your living room! Whatever your reason for photos, this is the fundraiser for you! You won't find a better price for great photos, and you are helping us become one step closer to our forever family.
Jeffrey and I are booking 1 hour photo shoots beginning as early as September. We will be shooting through the month of November. All shoots will take place outside unless you have an available inside location that you prefer. Spots are limited due to our availability, so please book with us as soon as possible.

All the photos on this post are from some recent shoots we have done. Thank you to the wonderful families who helped us get this fundraiser started and who have allowed us to share some of their photos.

WHEN: When you book
WHERE: Locat…

"Update"

For those of you who check our blog often, I am sorry I haven't posted an update in a while. I want to tell you that it is because I am back to school and life has just been crazy lately, but that isn't the case. Although life is crazy and we are going non-stop, the real reason for no updates is there hasn't been any updates. This Friday our adoption agency is having a conference call with all the families who are adopting from Ethiopia and waiting just like us. They are going to discuss wait times, PAIR (which is the new step to the Ethiopia adoption process that will start in October), and referrals (being matched to a child). Since our adoption agency is on the East Coast and the call is at 3 p.m., Jeffrey and I will still be at work. We will have to wait for our adoption agency to email use the recording of the call instead of listening to it live. Although I am very interested to find out what they have to say, I am dreading this call. Please pray we hear some good ne…

Wait by Russel Kelfer

Wait Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried. Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied. I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate, And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."
"Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply. "Lord, I need answers, I need to know why. Is your hand shortened?  Or have you not heard? By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.
"My future, and all to which I can relate Hangs in the balance, and you tell me 'wait'? I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign, Or even a 'no', to which I can resign.
"And Lord, you have promised that if we believe,  We need but ask, and we shall receive. And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry: "I'm weary of asking: I need a reply!"
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate As my Master replied once again, "You must wait." So I slumped in my chair; defeated and taut And grumbled to God; "So I'm waiting, for what?"
He seeme…

The Rainy Season

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Our adoption agency sends us a weekly update about Ethiopia and the adoption process. I haven't ever posted their weekly update to our blog, but I thought this week was one you would all be interested. I have discussed the rainy season with many of you, and thought you would like to read more. I did edit the weekly update a little, but most of it is pure copy and paste.

Ethiopia’s Rainy Season
There are three seasons in Ethiopia. From September to February is the long dry season known as the bega; this is followed by a short rainy season, the belg, in March and April. May is a hot and dry month preceding the long rainy season, kremt, in June, July, and August. Total annual precipitation varies from 20 to 40 inches (500 to 1,000 mm).
Source: Britannica Online 

During the rainy season, many roads are impassable until dryer weather. This makes it difficult for Ethiopian court staff to get to the court, and more difficult in general to travel around Ethiopia. In the capital of Addis…

THE FIRST BIRTHDAY

I feel like a lot of my post lately have been more of updates than anything, and although I want to keep you all informed, I also want to write more. I intended to write this post actually a while ago, but I wasn't really exactly sure what I wanted to say. This week, I was talking to my friend, Steph, about this topic, and I decided to just go for it.........

"Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you"
"They say it's your birthday!"
"A Happy Birthday to You! A Happy Birthday to you!"

There are many renditions of the birthday song. Some families I know even have their own special versions or traditions that go along with birthdays. Right around my birthday, I was receiving cards, text messages, Facebook posts, etc, and I started to think how birthdays are such a huge deal here in the United States. There are even special birthdays that are even a bigger deal than others. Jeffrey and I have been so blessed to be a part of many first birthday cele…

Summer Fundraisers

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We want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Myrah Whittington and Teresa Fehrenz! These two ladies both approached us about doing fundraisers for our adoption. Thanks to all their hard work, we raised almost $900 this summer.

Teresa held a 31 Party  for us, and she so kindly held it at her home even though she was undergoing a big home improvement project. She was a wonderful host with great snacks including my favorite Eckerts chips and salsa =) People were able to make orders online which made it nice for those who were not able to come to her house. This was her first party ever, and I think it was a great success! Baby Woodson was also able to get a diaper bag from the party which was nice even though daddy wants to use it as a camera bag. She also donated one of the 31 bags for the raffle at the Zumbathon and worked the raffle table. Teresa has gone far beyond anything we could ever ask for; we have been so blessed by her and can't wait for Baby W to meet her!

Myrah hel…