Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shots (a good thing)!

Hello friends!

You may be intrigued by the title of our post..."Shots (a good thing)!" Usually, shots have a negative connotation to them, but not this time! I am happy to report that last week we began our series of shots in order to travel to Ethiopia! We will receive a series of shots over the next 4-6 months...Hepatitis A&B plus tetanus, flu, and others to be determined. The CDC recommends some really out of the ordinary things, and our doctors are doing some research to see what they recommend. Since the series of Hepatitis shots take 4-6 months, we decided to go ahead and get started with those. Shots are never any fun, but we know that the end result will be totally worth it! :)

We also received word today that the Ethiopian courts opened a few days early! Ethiopian courts typically close for several weeks in the Fall. We weren't expecting them to re-open until October 9th, so it was a nice surprise to hear that they re-opened early. During the time in which they are closed, families are able to receive referrals, but no court appearances or adoptions can take place during that time. Essentially, adoptions are put "on hold" for a few weeks. Typically when they re-open, there is a slight backlog, but unlike China, Ethiopia can take care of that pretty quickly. It has been 18 days since our dossier was "in cue," not that we are counting! In terms of the wait, we have heard that there are approximately 100 families also waiting. However, we do not know how many of those families are requesting siblings 0-4. We could be #10 on the list for those children, or #80. We just don't know.

We hope all is well with all of you. Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Friday!

Hello, friends!

We are happy to let you all know that we are officially "waiting" for our referral for our children in Ethiopia! We received word today that our paperwork is complete and is "in cue" for a referral. The current wait time is 6-12 months. We have requested two, and we aren't sure how many other families there are in front of us that have requested two.

Once children have been identified for us, we will receive "THE CALL" from our adoption agency. We will then receive pictures and paperwork about the children and accept the referral. Once this happens, the dossier will be translated and authenticated, and presented to the Ministry of Womens Affairs (MOWA), which is the first entity in Ethiopia to approve us to adopt the child. (This is where we could be turned down, so please pray that the judge will approve us.) If/when we receive the approval, we will travel approximately 2 months later.

We are rejoicing to be past the "first step" and to be an official "waiting family" (now in two countries). Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

On another note, we attended a meeting at the adoption agency on Tuesday night to learn more about the office in Brentwood closing. Due to a decrease in international adoptions (mainly due to the China slow-down, the economy, etc.), Children's Hope International is having to close the Brentwood/Nashville office. The HQ in St. Louis will remain open, and we will be able to complete our Ethiopian adoption through them. We are blessed to have gotten to work with some amazing people at CHI Brentwood and will miss them.

We hope you all have a great weekend and Go Vols!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Adoption Update

Hello, everyone!

We hope you all had a great weekend. We had the exciting opportunity to attend a reception on Saturday at our adoption agency office. The agency representative from Ethiopia was in Nashville, and we were invited to come and meet him. There were lots of families there who have recently returned from Ethiopia. We had the chance to speak with them about their experiences and meet the children. The children are adorable and well-adjusted, and the families had great things to say about their trip and adjustment period. We also had the opportunity to speak with the representative about our particular situation. He did not seem to think that it would be a problem with the judge that we are adopting from Ethiopia and China at the same time, so that made us feel better. We will continue to pray that the judge approves us, but we do have more of a sense of peace about it now. We also received word that unfortunately, the adoption agency will be closing the Brentwood office. The HQ in St. Louis will remain open, but we will find out on Tuesday evening how this will affect us.

Have a great week!