Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Sisters are Going to Ethiopia!

Last summer, my sister came to visit me while Marshall was on his business trip. We had a ball....went to Paris, Normandy, Amsterdam and as much of Germany as possible, in between. Well, this summer we are at it again....but we are changing continents and reasons......

We are going to ETHIOPIA on a MISSION TRIP!!!!!

I can hardly wait and am trying to hold myself back from packing my suitcase....NOW!

We are going with a sister ministry of our adoption agency. The trip will be about 16 days, start to finish.

Please pray for us as we prepare spiritually, physically, financially and mentally for this awesome opportunity. I'm so thankful that God is allowing this time for us to serve Him, minister to orphans and connect with the country that our baby will come from. All I can say is WOW!

Precious Postman

On Thursday we mailed a big packet of paperwork to our home study social worker and our I-600A application, fingerprints, money and letter to the US Consulate. We decided to use the German post office so they would get to where they were going faster.

Well, we have a nice postman who delivers on bike (I've noticed this in other countries too). He came by work and I gave him the big envelopes with no postage because I had no idea how much they would be. He told me that it would be expensive because here, it is not the weight of the package, but the size. Whoops....I had two big ole padded envelopes. But it really couldn't be helped because the contents didn't need to be bent. So, he recognized our home address on the front and told me he would process them at the post office and bring me the bill at the house. Talk about first class!

Sure enough, the next day, the buzzer rings and it's him apologizing for the cost, as if it was his fault....and it really wasn't that bad. Sweet man! No matter how hot it is outside, he always points to the sky and says it's ok as long as there is NO SNOW! Can you imagine....on a bike, in the snow? What a nice guy!

Thank you Lord, for putting that precious postman in my path. Please protect him as he is out in the elements helping others.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Map of Ethiopia

I got this map from the CIA - The World Factbook - Ethiopia page https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/et.html

I thought some of our loved ones might be wondering where in the world, or at least where in Africa, Ethiopia is located.

The Paper Pregnancy

That's what our agency calls this part of the journey. We totally get it! We are still gathering both sets of paperwork, home study and dossier, and are really moving. There are a few things that just have to be waited on, like background checks, birth and marriage certificates, notarized letters and doctors appointments. So, today we will mail the first batch of paperwork to our home study provider. Everything that is in the dossier has to be notarized and certified, so that's a longer process.

We also are finishing up filling out our I-600A, which is a form for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. This form is what approves us to bring Noah home. And can take a while.

Last night, we went to another community to an Adoption Support Group. It was a nice evening and we enjoyed it. All of us had our own story, some similarities and some differences.......different types of adoption, like domestic adoption, private adoption, foster to adopt, and international adoption with several countries represented. And there were first time adopters, as well as multiple time adopters. The major similarity was that we all share the same heart for adoption and have chosen the same process to start our families. What a blessing!

So, I must go now and gather paperwork and head to the post office. Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mid-Week Update

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today we mailed off our fingerprints to the FBI and our home state for background checks. I never imagined I'd be corresponding with the FBI, but what a great reason to be checked out. The gathering of paperwork for our home study is going well.

We had a rainy day today, but a good one. I hope on this day of "love", you feel the love that our Father has for us.

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our Home Has Been Studied!

Yeah! Our social worker came to the house yesterday and interviewed us. We have some homework to do and documents to compile. It went well and we enjoyed talking to her. What a relief for such a big step to have been started.

I'll think we'll take a Sunday afternoon nap and then tackle our homework.

We will also be simultaneously gathering documents for our dossier when we receive a list from the agency.

Father, please continue to guide our steps....we don't want to get ahead of You! Thank you for this entire process and the growth that will come out of it. You are in CONTROL!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Chase is ON

The "paper chase", that is.

We're in contact with a social worker to do our home study. Hopefully that will start this weekend.

In the meantime, we have begun gathering documents, ordering documents, fingerprinting, making copies, etc. This process is very thorough, but that is a good thing for the welfare of adopted children. They deserve parents that have been checked out and passed the test!

We're trusting God to order and guide our steps. I'm keeping track of everything we are doing, so that later we can look back and see God's Mighty Hand in this. It is already so evident!

Thanks for checking in on us. We value your prayers.

It's cold and rainy here today, though I guess it's "supposed" to be. :) It is in the mid to high 70's in Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa....with sunshine! Let's go!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Verdict is In....

and it's a YES! We got a phone call tonight that the agency has accepted our application. What a praise that is! They are sending us a packet of information so we can begin our home study and gather the documents for our dossier.

Step One: Complete

Now on to Step Two!

Thank you for your prayers! Please, don't stop!

Rough Day?

Maybe this face will make you smile. I didn't have a rough day, just busy, rushing from one thing to the next. But, this is the face I came home to....

We got Sophie in September and she's almost 7 months old now. What a little ball of fire! Such personality keeps us laughing and moving. She's never met a stranger and really thinks everyone should stop and tell her how cute she is.....they always do. :)

Adoption Update: We received an email from the agency a few days ago. They requested some more information from us. We expect to hear from them in a few days. It's nice to know our file was being looked at.....we have a file!

I'm so thankful for all of the support from our family and friends. The Lord has surrounded us with people who have been on this journey and offer so much encouragement. I love to hear everyone's stories.

I can't believe it's already February.....of 2007, no less. Hope you're having a great day!