Wednesday, August 27, 2008



I am happy to report that our final paperwork will be sent to the adoption agency headquarters in St. Louis tomorrow!!!!! Yay!

We did have some last-minute drama, but what else did we expect with this round of crazy paperwork! We just found out that we have to complete another "Self Assessment." I ordered it yesterday, so hopefully we will get it soon. It is supposed to be completed prior to us sending in our paperwork, but they are supposed to waive that for us as long as we get it completed in the next few weeks. Oh my...

Each document and form that we completed for our dossier had to be notarized. So, along the way, we have had notaries sign and notarize our paperwork. After everything was notarized and checked by the adoption agency, we then had to have the notaries confirmed by the county in which the notary is from. Then, the state had to confirm that the County Court Clerk is who he/she says he/she is. So, Philip did that today for us. He took the paperwork to the Davidson County Court Clerk to have all of the notaries confirmed from Davidson County. He also had to do this for a notary in Williamson County (That took 2 trips in itself b/c the notary accidentally wrote her incorrect expiration date on the form, so it had to be re-done.). I called yesterday to let them know that I had 5 to confirm, and she told me that would be fine. I also had everything paper clipped together with post-it notes saying what to do with what. (For those of you who know me, you can imagine.) When he got there, the lady complained the whole time he was there that he had so many, even though someone told me yesterday it would be no problem. Then, she couldn't find one of the notaries. After waiting there for over 35 minutes, she found what she needed, finished the project, took his $, and sent him on his way. He then went to the Tennessee Secretary of State to confirm the County Court Clerks. This required each document that was notarized, then confirmed by the county, to be put in a blue sleeve with the state seal and authenticated with a letter. This took approximately 40 minutes, but there was no drama there; thank goodness.

Tonight, we compiled everything in order and will mail tomorrow. After the CHI HQ receives the paperwork, someone on their team will look over everything again to make sure that we didn't leave anything out. They will then send to the Missouri Secretary of State to be authenticated by them. The paperwork will then go to the US Secretary of State (Condoleeza Rice)'s office to add her seal. After that is complete, the papers go to the Ethiopian Embassy in DC to be confirmed as well. After they are confirmed there, the paperwork goes back to St. Louis and then on to Ethiopia to be translated into Amharic (their language). Only after this point will we actually be "logged in" to the system and the "wait" officially begins. Let's just pray that the paperwork is all complete and does not get lost!!! The current wait time is 6-12 months from when the paperwork is logged in to referral.

We are so relieved to have this part over with and just pray that everything is in order and that nothing has to be re-done. This set of paperwork has been highly scrutinized and more difficult than the paperwork for China. For anyone who is not persistent and organized, completing the adoption paperwork has got to be unbelievably difficult. It is difficult for us, and we are pretty organized people!

We are blessed with a wonderful opportunity coming up in a few weeks. The director of the program in Ethiopia for our adoption agency is coming to Nashville/Brentwood!! He will be the one to take our paperwork to court and represent us when they decide if we will get these children. We will have the opportunity to meet him in person and explain our situation; therefore, hopefully helping to answer any questions that the judge may have about why we want children from Ethiopia and China. Remember...this is a huge risk we are taking here, and anything we can do to help the situation, we will. Please say a prayer for our meeting.

I will close for now and want to thank everyone who has helped get our paperwork finished. From everyone who wrote letters of recommendation, to those of you who prayed and sent words of encouragement, we appreciate you and are blessed to call you our friends and family. We look forward to introducing you to our children.

2008 Olympics - Beijing

Hello everyone!

I meant to blog about this after the Opening Ceremonies, but I am just now finding time to sit and type some thoughts.

I'm sure many of you watched the Opening Ceremonies and were in awe of the magnificent show that the Chinese performed. I watched with mixed emotions. Part of me was mesmorized by the artistic creativity, colors, lights, and sounds that were shown. Part of me was angry - angry at the Chinese government for spending all of that money on the Opening Ceremonies when I know how many thousands of children there are without homes, how inadequate their government-run orphanages are, and how many of us want to give the children a loving home while the government stands in our way. Part of me was sad - sad because we should have our little girl by now...sad because we probably won't meet her for at least 4 more years.

I enjoyed the Olympics as a whole. I was intrigued by how the Chinese competed in almost every event and earned more gold medals than any other country. I watched the Chinese athletes (especially the female ones) and thought....will our daughter look like you one day? I watched the Ethiopian athletes and wondered if our children will look like them. I was angry again while watching the gymnastics and hearing about the grueling Chinese government-run program that they put the girls in when they are very small. Angry to think that many of them may not have been the minimum age to compete and how much pressure those young girls must have felt during the competition.

I am proud of the US and our athletes.

I am sad that the Olympics are over. Needless to say, I experienced many emotions during those two weeks. We can only hope that the Chinese government will speed things up on the adoption front now that the Olympics are over. But, we won't get our hopes up. It is almost September 1, and they have only made it through one month of referrals. At this rate, it will be well-beyond 4 more years before we meet our baby girl.

New Born Class

Hello everyone! We attended a New Born Care Class at a local hospital a couple of weeks ago. This was mandatory for us to attend before we could send in our paperwork. It was a 2 hour class, and 2 hours of our lives that we will never get back!

We walked into the room, and it was full of "dolls," pink bed pans, towels, blankets, baby shampoo, lotion, etc. at each seat. We were the only non-pregnant people in the class out of 10 couples. For those of you who have never experienced that feeling, it was a tad bit uncomfortable to say the least. The class covered what to do when you bring your new born home from the hospital...not that any international adoption couple would actually bring home a new born, but never mind. It covered the baby's first bath (We actually had to give our dolls a bath with real water and baby shampoo.), how to change a diaper (We actually had to do this, too.), beginning care for baby boys and baby girls, not to mention breast feeding. ??? I have no idea why they require this class for international adoption folks...I can understand why it would be required if you might actually get a new born, but not for those of us who will be getting children more than likely at least 6 months old. Perhaps a different class would be more appropriate, but this was the only thing offered in the area that was close to the requirement.

We survived, got our certificate, and marked that off the list. :) Now onward to finishing the paperwork!