Saturday, September 24, 2016

TRIVIA NIGHT FUNDRAISER!


We are so excited for the trivia night! We love you all so much! We can't wait to have a big family/friend reunion playing trivia and helping to bring Zane home! Leah has an awesome night planned with great door prizes and really fun trivia questions! Thanks for being a part of this crazy journey!

When:Saturday, November 12 at 6:15 PM
1108 Lebanon Ave, Belleville, Illinois 
RESERVE YOUR TABLE BY EMAILING: woodsontrivia@gmail.com

*Details From Leah About the Night*
1.) Please note that the trivia night is at the SCHOOL and not the church. Enter through the back doors.  
2.) Doors will open at 4:45pm and trivia will start at 6:15pm. Please have all members of your team here by 6:15 so we can start on time. 
3.) Bring food and drinks of your choice- we will be selling soda and iced tea that evening. 
4.) Bring extra money- we will have mulligans for sale for $1 a piece, raffle for a beautiful handmade afghan and a 50/50 game.
5.) Prize for 1st place and really fabulous door prizes will be given out each round (SERIOUSLY! YOU WANT TO COME!)
6.) You can respond to this event through facebook, but to actually secure a table please send your reservation to woodsontrivia@gmail.com. A team is 8-10 people per table and $10 a person. If you do not have enough players to create a team of at least 8, let me know and I will do my best to get you on a team. Payment will be collected the night of the event. Please reserve your table by November 5th. If you have any question at all please don't hesitate to ask. 
7.) THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Top Three Questions

Since our exciting news, we have been overwhelmed with so much love and support by all the wonderful people who are connected to us. We know that so many of you have felt like you have been on this emotional journey with us every step of the way, and we are so very thankful for your constant support through it all. We know you are all almost just as excited as us. Sorry have to say almost! WE ARE PRETTY PROUD PARENTS! With your excitement many of you have asked us lots of questions, so I am going to answer the top three questions for you.

Question #3: What do you know about him? What is his name? Do you know why he is in an orphanage? How old is he?

Answer: We know he is an absolutely adorable two year old boy. His village is in Western Ethiopia very close to Sudan.  His name is Zane meaning "Gift of God". We are naming him that, but we will be using his Ethiopian name for his middle name. We do know how he came to the orphanage, but we feel like some of Zane's story is Zane's story. We want him to be able to find things about himself from us, and we want to respect him by allowing him to know things about his past before everyone else does. Zane is so very loved, and he has been loved from the beginning of his life and long before he was even born, so we want to be able to tell him about his story before he became a Woodson when he is ready to hear it, and if he wants to share it than he can definitely do that. We are hoping to travel to his village, but there is currently quite a bit of unrest there, so it is uncertain if we will be able to do so. We are also hoping to meet some of his biological family and take pictures of them and learn as much as we can about them.

Question #2: Can I see a picture of him?

Answer: YES! We would love to show you his sweet little face; however, we legally cannot share his photo online until we go to court and legally become his parents. So you will not be seeing any pictures of Zane on social media until we meet him. We will gladly show you the next time we see each other!

#1 Question asked: When will you bring him home?

Answer: We currently don't know. We are currently waiting on the Ethiopian government to find documents about Zane and his biological family that show he truly is an orphan. Once all of those documents are found (this can take months due to variety of reasons such as traveling problems in Ethiopia, locating people, and Ethiopian government not working due to holidays and rainy season), the US Embassy will review the documents. Both countries must agree that all the documentation is correct and verify that he is an orphan that is legally able to immigrate to the United States and be adopted. Once both countries agree, we will then wait for a court date. Once we are given a court date, we will travel and stay in Ethiopia for around a week. We will meet Zane, spend lots of time with him, and we will legally become his parents. We will then fly home without him, and we will wait for the US Embassy to get his passport and everything ready, so we can bring him home. We will then fly back to Ethiopia, and we will be there for just a quick trip to pick Zane up, go to the US Embassy, and bring him home. This timeline has varied for many families. This all depends on the accessibility of the paperwork. We want to bring him home ASAP of course, but we are praying that we will be able to celebrate his next birthday with him in America. His 3rd birthday is the end of May.

What you can pray for:
- Please pray that the PAIR process will go smoothly and quickly (this is the process with the US and Ethiopian government working together to approve him to come home)
- Please pray for Zane (his health, his heart, his mind, and for this huge transition that he is about to
   make)

The Call

August 22, 2016 started as many Mondays do. I was rushed, I couldn't find my cellphone, and I decided to leave it at home instead of searching and searching and being late for work. Jeffrey and I had just received a letter from immigration with their approval, so I had asked Jeffrey to email me during the day and on my lunch break, I would send it all to our family coordinator at the adoption agency.

Let me jump back for just one minute here. Jeffrey and I felt like we were getting close, and what I mean by close is we thought we would probably be receiving the call within a year or so. Seriously. If you looked at the unofficially list which we know now is clearly unofficial, it looked like we still had close to 15-20 people ahead of us. We knew many people had switched programs and were on hold for various reasons, but we really did't know for sure where we were. What is funny is about a week before the call, we had talked about our game plan if we ever got the call. We had Jeffrey's number as the primary contact, so we knew they would call him first. I made it very clear that no one should know before he tells me, and that he needs to call me immediately. I told him to call my work and tell them to have someone record me talking the call. We also both agreed not to look at any pictures before we were together. It's nice to have a plan I guess... but many times it doesn't go as planned.

At lunch, I quickly got on my email account emailed our family coordinator and logged off. Since I didn't have my cell phone with me, I had no way of receiving calls. Oh! Right! The plan. They would call Jeffrey and he would call me. Well... Jeffrey had been receiving lots of telemarketing calls throughout the previous week. He saw the call, but he didn't answer because he didn't recognize the number. You see we had talked about making sure to answer any Virginia calls because that is where our adoption agency is based, but our family coordinator was calling us from her own personal cell because she was on maternity leave, but she wanted to make the call to us. So the call did not come from a Virginia area code like we thought it would. Jeffrey ignored two calls, and though there were voicemails, he was busy at work, and he decided to listen to them after got home. He figured they weren't important.

When I got home from work, I got on my laptop because I still had not found my cell phone (this is a normal situation). Jeffrey has an alarm thing where we can alarm my phone, and then I can usually find it in the house. I was getting on my computer to email him to set the alarm off, but I noticed an email from our family coordinator. She said she had called us both several times, and that she really would like to talk to us. My mind went directly to the paperwork we had just sent her. Somehow something must not have been notarized, signed, dated, or a million other things that could possibly go wrong with adoption paperwork. I looked over and saw my phone stuck in the couch, and I grabbed it. I called her back right away.

Kelsey: Hello, this is Kelsey.
Me:  Hey, Kelsey. It's Rachel. Sorry we missed your calls.
Kelsey: That's okay. I need to call and ask you if there was anything new that needed to be updated with your family. Kids? Jobs? Home?
Me: No. Since we just updated everything with the state of Missouri, everything is correct.
Kelsey: Great! Okay well, then I am calling you to let you know that we have a referral!
Me:.............................................................................What! Really! Oh my word! I....I ...I have to hangout up with you. Can I call you back! I don't want to know anything without Jeffrey being here.
Kelsey: Sure.
Me: Okay. It should only be 10 minutes at the most.

Shaking and crying, I call Jeffrey. Thankfully he answered because I don't usually call him around that time.

Jeffrey: Hey.
Me: Jeffrey, you have to come home (crying)
Jeffrey: What's wrong! Are you okay.
Me: They have a referral. They have a referral for us.
Jeffrey: What! I am coming!

While Jeffrey rushed home, I found a camera to record, setup my laptop, and had a notebook and pen ready.

Jeffrey and I both took a guess at the gender, and both guessed boy. We had always thought it was going to be a boy.

We sat down and called Kelsey back. She told us all about our son and congratulated us. She sent over three photos and all his papers. We opened the email and after 4 years, 3 months, and 13 days. we stared into the eyes of our beautiful son. The most ordinary day had suddenly turned into one of the best days of our lives.

Zane, we are so in love with you, and we can't wait for the day that we can hold you in our arms and bring you home.