Saturday, October 30, 2010

First Fundraiser

We put together a Baked Goods booth for a Harvest Hoedown our church was having at a lovely barn, farm, nursery location, called the Windmill in Florence. Adorable place. All proceeds from the booth of course go directly to our adoption fund, and my mom, sister, grandmother and mother-on-law helped by making goodies and finding all the supplies needed. It was such a great success and I was mostly encouraged by the auotmatic support people gave us. God is so good. I am uplifted by this experience and the heart, encouragement, and experiences that people have had that God is using to lift us up and remind us that He has a plan for us. And it is a really exciting and awesome one! We are busy planning our next fundraisers, paperwork for our homestudy, and learning alot of about the culture and how to raise a child in a multiracial home. My mind is in constant process mode, trying to feel like I have a handle on everything. I admittedly feel overwhelmed most of the time, and that I am in a surreal world, that God has chosen us for this. God is good, that is all I can say. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's next...

Ok, so I am processing everything and we got our adoption agreement in the mail today, along with the paperwork for our dossier. Also coming to us in the mail is our application for our home study. Basically, if you are unfamiliar with international adoption, our initial application is kind of like being accepted into college. They let you in, but you have to work and earn that degree and it takes alot of time and money and prayer. So, that being said, we got all this paperwork, which includes everything under the sun, such as employer, medical, financial verification, parenting classes, references, biography for each parent, home study checklist, including fire safety stuff, how we were raised as children, how we will raise our child, how much we know about Ethiopian culture, passports, papers to the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia and other places explaining our reason for adopting, specific photographs, forms for Citizenship and Immigration Servies.... and the list goes on. Most of that, if not all of it, makes sense, although it is very time consuming.
Requirements that may be surprising include not taking staples out of your Dossier (BIG paperwork to go to Ethiopia) because they will deny you and we would lose $3,500 just for taking staples out to make a copy. Obviously, I won't be taking staples out... Culturally concerns were interesting as well, including past issues Ethiopia has had with Americans. Because of past issues, parents are not allowed to take their newly adopted child out in public where there are a lot of people. Also, in Ethiopian culture, babies are usually tightly wrapped and covered and it is a cultural norm for someone to tell you to cover the baby or just do it for you. The advice was to accept this help with grace. Their social customs are quite modest, upholding dignity, and very polite. I'm really looking forward to visiting and meeting people.

I am enjoying reading about the culture and customs. Their calendar is not the same as ours. They did not adjust when the Pope changed to the Gregorian calendar to make sure Easter always fell around the same time it did in the Bible. I found that interesting.
Their holidays are mostly based in Christian events, although some that I had not heard of.
Teskel celebrates the discovery of the cross of Christ, according to a 4th century story. Another holiday celebrates the Baptism of John the Baptist.

I ordered a book about Ethiopian culture and one about raising children in a bi-racial family, so I will definitely be learning a lot more soon.

Financially, I am stressed out. I know God will provide, and I really need to trust Him, but I had a meltdown earlier this evening. Please pray that the finances will come together.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


There has been interest in how to support God's plan in this adoption process. Of, the biggest thing you can do is pray. We ask for prayer for our child and for our child's birth parents. Aids, starvation, and poverty cover Ethiopia like the plague. Please pray for protection for our child and his or her birth parents. Next, pray for wisdom in the process of paperwork, planning for being parents, and all the complicated steps we must go through. Honestly, it is extremely daunting and invasive, and only through God can we complete this process and bring home the child God has enstrusted to us.

Financially, we do need support. The cost of adoption is by no means inexpensive and we will realy on fundraising, creative thinking and action, and lots of hard work to bring home our child. Please know that whatever you give is needed and we are extremely grateful for it. You can go to our blog and donate through Paypal if you would like, and also we have two fundraisers set up on the blog. You can buy coffee from Ethiopia, Uganda, or Nicaragua and a portion for the sales go to our adoption. Also, my sister Melissa has designed some adorable adoption tshirts, onesies, and totes on the cafe press link on our blog. Check them out!

We are extremely grateful to you and feel your support.

Praise God!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Application Approved!

We received confirmation on Wednesday, October 13, that our application for adoption from Ethiopia has been approved! This is the first step in the long process we will journey on to bring home our child. We got the email from our consultant through CHI and in big caps in the title of the email it said APPLICATION WAS APPROVED BY CHI HOME OFFICE. I can't tell you how happy those words make us.
Just to clarify, there are MANY forms and processes to go through before we will truly be "approved". This is just the beginning. John spoke with the Ethiopian program director, who gave some follow up information and we will be receiving our next few steps of more specific directions. Next up is the adoption agreement, which by itself costs $900 and our home study. We also need to get our passports prepared, fingerprinting done, first-time parenting classes, online classes, and some other forms to fill out. After all that, we can start on our dossier (which is the paperwork that will go to Ethiopia!). It is time consuming, expensive, and we are simple in awe and humbled by God that He would choose to use us in this way.

If you would like to see more specifically that process and details of our adoption, you can go to Children's Hope International's website and click on the Ethiopian program.

Please keep us in your prayers, pray for the biological mother and father of our child, and for our child. I pray they are safe and that they find God.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010

Not much is going on right now. We're just waiting for the dr.'s letter to come in the mail and then we're mailing out our application. I just want to document how much wait time there is. I know this will be the majority of what we do is simply wait, pray, and try to come up with and carry out fundraising ideas. It is in these times that I do alot of thinking and praying.

My big prayer right now is that we have the financial resources to fund this process. It's SOO expensive and that can be frustrating and daunting, especially in this economy. We are brainstorming and planning, so please keep this in your prayers. Just one thought of our child and what God is saving them from through this adoption keeps us more than fueled to keep going. God has good and big plans for us :)