Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yea Families!

I just found out that 4 families with America World passed their court dates and are on their way to pick up their little ones in Ethiopia! They leave on August 9th! How exciting, I can't wait to see pictures and hear their stories. I get all tingly inside just thinking about it! It makes me want to push forward faster and get all of our paperwork done so we can be put on the waiting list and well, wait! At least we know what we're waiting for and that the wait won't be forever. Woo Hoo!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Anniversary Dinner - Ethiopian Style

As our anniversary came near this year we decided what better way to celebrate than go try an Ethiopian restaurant! We had a blast!! Our waitress, Merona, was so sweet and funny. She could tell it was our first time there and laughed at our deep concentration on the menus. She explained what everything was to us and how we were to eat (you use your right hand and don't use any silverware!)and recommended some dishes for us to try. We put our trust in her and went for it! We had Ethiopian spiced tea with our meal, Sambusa, which is spiced beef and lentils in a crispy wrapper for an appetizer (so good!) and Doro Wott which is spicy, slow cooked chicken with a variety of veggies for dinner. It's served family style on a piece of injera (spongy, sourdough flat bread)and they give you extra rolls of injera to scoop the food with. The spices were different, not something we're used to eating, but really pretty good. My favorites were the chicken, lentils and zucchini. Yumm! And of course we had to try their Ethiopian coffee for dessert. I loved it! The flavor reminded me of wassel that we drink at Christmas time. Sort of a sweet, fruity taste. They serve it in these tiny little mugs, so cute!
It was such a neat cultural experience, I'd love to go back again and take our family along so they can experience it as well. We told Merona we would be going to Ethiopia next year to bring home our child and she was so excited and said she was going to be there next year too. She said she would teach us phrases in Amharic if we wanted when we come back! She did teach us how to say "thank you" before we left. "Ameseginalehu" (Ame-segi-na-lew) to Merona for making our experience such a great one!!

Friday, July 11, 2008


For those of you who might be interested in the details of what all is involved in the international adoption process here is where we are currently in the process: The Dossier. The dossier is the packet of documents that once all gathered, is sent to the state and then to Washington to be certified and authenticated so it can be sent to Ethiopia for approval.
I was a little intimidated at first by this process of gathering and sending just because I've heard so often that it's a lot of work, but so far it really hasn't been that bad at all. Granted, we've only just started and haven't even gotten to the home study part yet, but still, I'm thankful that it's going pretty smoothly so far. We've gone into it with the mindset of tackling one piece at a time and I think that's really helped.
Some of the things we have to have for the dossier to be complete are certified copies or our birth certificates and marriage license, physical exam reports, letters of employment, letters of reference, background checks, fingerprints done by the FBI, a financial statement and several other forms that will have to be completed by our agency among other things. As we check things off the list I get more excited that we're one step closer to bringing home our child. Thank you Lord for this amazing opportunity!!

Monday, July 7, 2008


I came across these statistics about Ethiopia and had to share...they are devastating. It breaks my heart that these kids (and adults) are living in a country with so little opportunity for a future. It is encouraging to know however that people and organizations are trying to make a difference and bring hope to these people with aid and adoption. Just this past month our agency alone had 10 families receive referrals for children in Ethiopia. That's just one of many agencies, we can all help in one way or another, one child at a time.

  • One in six children die before their fifth birthday

  • 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under the age of 15

  • 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition

  • The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years

  • 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)

  • 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia

  • Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa

  • In the 90's the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)

  • Drought struck the country from 00 -02; first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals

  • Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school, 88% will never attend secondary school

  • Ethiopia's doctor to children ratio is 1:24,000

  • Coffee prices (Ethiopia's only major export) fell 40% - 60% from 98 - 02

  • In 93, after 30 years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation, leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yes, Lord

I've always been amazed to see the direction God has had for my life over the years. Most of the time it has been a path I never expected, so when God put adoption on my heart 3 years ago, needless to say I was once again amazed and in awe of the idea that God would choose us to start our family in that way. I talked to my husband and he was not really ready to go down that path yet so I let it go and gave it to God. If it really was what He wanted for us, then He would make it happen when the time was right. Well, that time has come! Ben came home from rehearsal at church one evening about six months ago and told me about a conversation he'd had with someone about adoption and that he felt sure that God was speaking to him through that conversation that this was what He wanted us to do. I immediately got chills and knew the Lord was calling us to move forward.
So we started looking at adoption agencies, went to some meetings and prayed like crazy about which was the right one and what kind of adoption He wanted us to pursue. When we felt God calling us to Ethiopia we were so surprised but also very excited. How awesome it is to think that our child will be born in another country on the other side of the world and miraculously God will bring us together to become a family! It's beyond my wildest dreams and I feel so blessed.
We've begun the process of collecting all of the documents for our dossier and as they say in the world of adoption, we are "paper pregnant"! Please keep us in your prayers as we say "Yes, Lord" and begin this incredible journey.