Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Fabulous Book...


I just started reading this book last week, and would highly recommend it! Quite a few people who are adopting (or have adopted) from Ethiopia recommended this one, so figured I would give it a try. Whether you are adopting from Ethiopia, or not even adopting at all, this is a great read for anybody! If you've read it, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Inspiration

Here are a few quotes/poems/verses I came across this this evening (thanks to the Google search engine) that spoke to me in some way about this adoption journey we are on and gave me new inspiration to finish writing that autobiography for our home study :)

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
--- Kristi Larson

I'm only one. But still, I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
--- Edward Everett Hale

I know God won't give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish he didn't trust me so much
--- Mother Theresa

I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
--- Robert Frost

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

God sets the lonely in families.
--- Psalm 68:6

Every child deserves a home of his own.
--- Harry Holt

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Productive Week

Micah had most of this past week off of work, so we took advantage of it and accomplished quite a bit towards our adoption to-do list.

We both had our physicals and blood work completed, and are now just waiting on our doctors to mail us the signed forms. We requested and received a completed form from Eli's pediatrician.

We went to the post office to purchase stamps for our Christmas letters, as well as send of requests to both of our health insurance agencies for them to fill out a form (proof that our adopted child will be covered).


We requested and received police clearance letters from the Florence PD. We also made the "exciting" trip to the Pinal County Sherriff's Office for our FBI fingerprinting session. It was a pretty crazy experience because we were fingerprinted in the same "intake" area as the inmates, so it was a strange feeling to walk back through all of the metal detectors and concrete hallways! We now get to wait approx. 1 month to see if the FBI clears our fingerprints or not. We have heard from our agency, as well as other adoptive parents, that the fingerprinting can be a huge pain during this process.

We will have to be fingerprinted (again) by Immigration further down the road in this process, and if either of those agencies don't like the way the fingerprints were done or if they aren't completely clear then we will have to re-do them and possibly add months to our process by waiting again for clearance. We'll just hope this first round is accepted and that we won't even have to go down that road :)

I also attended an "orientation session" with our home study agency, Dillon Southwest, to meet our social worker and be able to ask questions, learn more about the process, etc. I was extremely glad I went, and it put my mind completely at ease about our home study visits and interviews. All of the social workers there are so nice and so down to earth. Thank heavens (I have heard some nightmare stories from others!).

Oh, and one other thing we have made progress on is our adoptive parent training. We are taking an online course which will count for 8 of our 10 hours, and we'll complete the final 2 training hours with our social worker. The course is very interesting and helpful... it has definitely led us to some interesting conversations and given us much to think about as we move forward in our journey.

Hooray for productivity and items crossed of the to-do list!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Endless Paper-Chasing

We are up to our ears in "to do lists" and the endless "document collection" process to obtain everything we need for our home study and dossier. I thought I would list out some of the things that we're working on just to give you an idea of how much is involved...

*Complete 10 hours of training on international adoption (in process)
*Micah and I each have to write an 8-10 page autobiography (in process)
*Physicals and blood tests (scheduled for next week)
*Obtain certified copies of all of our birth certificates (still waiting for Eli's...)
*Obtain certified copies of marriage certificate (completed)
*Copies of diplomas/transcripts (completed)
*Letters from employers (Bethany - done, Micah - in process)
*Letters of recommendation (in process)
*Copies of tax returns (completed)
*Letter from bank and bank statements
*Letter from health insurance
*Letter to Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia
*Have passport photos taken
*Power of Attorney forms
*Police clearance letter
*Immigration clearance
*Fingerprints/background checks

Many of the documents we have to collect must also be notarized, certified, and/or authenticated... so it makes obtaining a simple document a more complex process and more time-consuming.

Once we have everything required by our home study agency, we will go ahead and submit those items to them and they will come out and conduct our actual home study visit(s) and interview(s). Once the visits are completed, the agency will then write up our home study which must then be notarized and approved by Holt. The home study is the most important piece of our dossier that will be sent to Ethiopia. Once the home study process is complete, we will send our entire dossier (aka "life on paper") to Holt who will then send it on to Ethiopia. It's at that point that families are normally placed on the wait list to be matched with a child.

We would appreciate your prayers during this busy holiday season that we would be able to complete our paperwork and not run into any serious glitches with obtaining documents and letters. We are *hoping* to complete this paper-chasing phase by January/February and get on that wait list!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Clean Water for Christmas

Entering this adoption process has really burdened our hearts for the people of Africa, and in general, for those in this world who are less fortunate. Take two minutes to watch the video below, and take time this Christmas season to remember those who might just be asking for a glass of water that they won't risk their lives to drink.

Did you know that...
1.8 million people die every year from water-born illnesses?
And 3900 of those are children?
And that only $10 will give a child clean water for life?