Friday, December 21, 2007
Thank you for all your prayers and encouraging words...I am sure we will need more when the girls get here!
Now that the girls are legally ours, we can post pictures of them on the internet! Here are a few!
We have other pictures, but because they include other children, we cannot put them up on the internet. That's why there isn't another of Genet. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
goes well. I am not very patient...I am nervous....I do not like to wait for anything. Needless to say, this has stretched me in ways that I have needed stretching. Except for getting all our paperwork in, I have absolutely no control over what is happening. Things have gone smoothly for us during this time. It is just a lot of waiting. If you have known our family for more than about 5 years, you know we have had a time of these kinds of processes. I suppose that I am a "better" waiter than I was, just not a great one. I am excited, terrified, emotional, and jittery. BUT, you all have been so incredibly supportive. It is so neat to hear your encouraging words, you excitement, and blessings. I just love to hear my friend Jen clap her hands together and say "I-am-so-excited-for-you!"
And she says it often......and it warms my heart. I will post as soon as we hear the outcome of court. We may hear Saturday or Sunday....
Here a few posts from our group this week. Both of them were touching...
"Allow me to share a story about my daughter, Kalkidan, who is 8 years old and has been home from Ethiopia for 3 and a half months. We have been playing an improvised game at dinner, using index cards labeled "wisdom," "loyalty," "cooperation, " etc. We discuss the meaning of the word and I asked Dani to come up with an example to write on the other side of the card. After a discussion of "courage," I asked her for an example. "In Ethiopia I go with you but I don't know you."For those of you who are adopting or have adopted older children, please bear in mind the amazing courage of the kids who stand up to take a stranger's hand and follow her to a new home. And I thank AAI and the staff at Layla House for giving kids the solid ground that makes such courage possible.
And another one
"Basically, last time we went to the embassy in Ethiopia for Rebka and Hana in March 2006, I wore khakis, a shirt and sweater and mules. Justin wore a smart-casual outfit but it was more casual than smart. He wore sneakers - the only shoes he took with him on the trip. I dressed the girls up though. We felt comfortable with our clothing choices then.However, this time I'm going to wear a skirt, long-sleeved blouse, dressier shoes and maybe even a scarf around my shoulders. I'm going to encourage Justin and the boys to wear a nice outfit with shoes other than sneakers.Now that I spend a lot of time in the Ethiopian-American community, I think they altered my way of thinking about some things.Yes, considering the long, frustrating adoption process, the visit to the embassy is pretty much a technicality and akin to a DMV visit for adoptive families.But consider their perspective. Likely the waiting room will be packed with scared, nervous Ethiopians awaiting their embassy interview. They will be hoping and praying they manage to persuade a grumpy, tired American worker to grant a visa to an ailing grandmother or the children of a mother who won the lottery years ago and settled herself in America. Most of those people will be denied their wish and many of them will be treated gruffly. The interview costs them a fortune just to attempt to get a visa - even for a visit to America.
I've heard of embassy workers not even looking up from their paperwork to take a moment to make eye contact with the Ethiopian standing before them asking for a chance at a future in America. It can be a humiliating, degrading experience for many of them - and they know that's how it's likely going to go while they're sitting there watching us looking bored and confident in our success.We lucky Americans, appearing in sneakers and a short sleeved shirt, make it all look so effortless.So I'm thinking this time I'm going to wear an outfit that reflects my understanding of and respect for the effort *they* are making when they're at the embassy. Maybe, while they're staring at me, as they sit there with not much else to do in the waiting room, they'll think I made a good first impression. Hopefully, my effort will shine through and I'll help them form a more positive impression of American families there to whisk away Ethiopia's children.The habesha visa applicants at the embassy that day would wear a ball gown or tuxedo if they knew it would give them a better chance of obtaining the golden ticket to America. I can imagine where our casual appearance would feel like salt in their probable wound that day.
Randi in NJ"
Friday, December 07, 2007
"Deb, I'm just back from Ethiopia. Bizayehu and Genet are doing just fine. Genet did seem a little sad, or maybe just quiet the day that I delivered her letter, but every day after that she seemed very, very happy! She recognized me right away and was very happy to see me. I spent more time with Bizayehu as she is at Layla. They are just darling. I'll get the pictures up on Snapfish ASAP. Ciao, Randi."
It is so cool to hear about them. I still can't get out of my mind how they must be feeling. I don't know how their father is doing. I don't know if I will be able to take the girls to see him before they leave.
On a sad note, my aunt passed away today. We are heart-broken. She had brain and stomach cancer. It was very serious, but I was not prepared for this timing. I was so hoping that she could meet the girls. She was so excited for us. I was able to read her most of our blog one evening, and even showed her the picture of the girls as they received their welcome bags.
Our hearts go out to you Uncle Tom....
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I can’t explain how exciting and stressful is to get an update like this, even if the time seems far away. Yikes! On one hand, we’d love to get past the waiting stage and get our daughters into our home. On the other hand, we’re happy Genet (the six-year-old) and Bizayehu (who is eight) don’t have to come over here during the craziness of Christmas.
Susan also met our girls during a recent trip to Layla House. She said: “I met them both when I was at Layla House. Absolutely beautiful! Genet was a charmer and definitely a favorite at Wanna. Bizayehu was more reserved, but did want to know if I knew her mother! Her English was not advanced enough to have an in-depth conversation about her new family, so she had an older child ask the questions for her. I explained that I knew her parents and brothers and had been to their home. She was excited!”
Please keep us all in your prayers, especially these girls.
They loaded 259 people onto 2 buses and traveled to the Sheraton. Here is a snipet of the evening.
"We had the foreign adults sitting with the KG kids, other kids sitting with each other and staff sitting together. We had different groups at the buffet at the same time so that the little ones would be helped. Sometimes that worked fine, sometimes not. We had one little guy at my table who came back with 5 kinds of cakes and nothing else, so Randi went back and got him a proper dinner! Some of the kids went back many times, some ate too many sweets or drank too much pop, but they had a good time!
Circus Ethiopia performed throughout the dinner and the kids and many of the staff were mesmerized. That was a great thing too have, though the music was too loud.
It was a great evening."
For a special little treat, I made a traditional African stew called Dinich-Wat. We served it right before the meal, just as a little celebration for the girls. It was completely different than any of the other foods, so I was a little nervous. But I think most everyone enjoyed it. It was the first African recipe that I have attempted. I am a little intimidated by these foods as I don't know what they are supposed to taste like!
Here is the recipe-it is an adaption by my favorite blog mom at Owlhaven
Dinich Wat (Potato Stew)
3 large onions3 large carrots4 potatoes
1/4 of one white cabbage
1/4 cup oil2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 cups water
Peel onions and carrots and puree in food processor(or dice very fine). Chop cabbage into fine shreds. Peel and mash garlic. Chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
Heat oil in a large pan and add vegetables. Cover and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper and salt and mix well. Add the water. Stir and cook over very low heat for 30-40 minutes.
Serve hot over injera. Traditionally this would be served on injera with several other dishes.
Yield: 8 servings
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I sort of freaked out yesterday when realizing that I should have already started the process of immunization. I am not looking forward to shots. I typically do not do anything that I don't absolutely need to, regarding medication. I have scheduled some vacinations today. It is hard to get information about what you actually NEED. The cost is HUGE too. Luckily, I have people who have just been there and I am going to piggy-back on their information. Because of where I will be going, and how long I will be staying, I don't have to get very many, most of them are vacinations I should have anyway. So, the cost went from over 500.00 to about 200.00. Much better!
We are anxiously awaitng news from a family that went to pick up their 7-month old this week. She was going to connect with the girls and see how they are.
We continure to not get ready for their arrival. I think that it seems soooo not a reality. I see their picture with their T-Town shirts on, I believe and feel that they are ours, but it doesn't really register yet. They have a cute room with beds, and I have bought socks and undies, what more could they need? (joke there...) It is slightly overwhelming to think about what will be needed. When you have a child, or even adopting a younger child, you kind of have some time to catch up. These girls will be plopped right into LIFE--big life. Things will work out though. I do have to say, buying girl socks is much more exciting than buying boy's socks! Such pretty colors!
Some other VERY exciting news...a few blocks away is a family who has just come back from Eth in September...not the same agency, with 3 girls right smack in the middle of the ages of ours. I had heard rumblings about a family who had Eth kids. So, several days ago. I went right up to their door and knocked. When the dad came to do door I sheepishly introduced myself and he invited me in. Oh my goodness...I just want to cry. I can't believe that I am not going to be alone, and neither will they! What a happy day..and how often does this happen? I have gone from not knowing anyone in my city who has Eth kids to a family with 4 (they have a baby boy that they adopted last year) and another family on their block is in the process! She is a little overwhelmed as I expect that I will be, I am sooooo happy happy happy happy!!! It makes the wait a little better....well not much.....
Can you believe that next year at this time I will have 2 girls to dress up for Thanksgiving?
Please read on for several posts below. They don't have anything to do with us, but I thought it was some great information. Also, notice some new Places to Visit..Much love, DEB
Saturday, November 10, 2007
"I know this is controversial. When we were in Ethiopia we found good people who thought the best thing to do was to give nothing. We had a driver,Gatu, who we liked very much. He ALWAYS gave just a little money and a smile to all who came up to the car and asked. He said that it wasn't going to help them out much - but it was like showing good will, good faith and compassion. We liked his philosophy and so followed it. We found people begging to be extremely polite and appreciative. Gatu even asked someone asking him for money if they had change and they happily gave it to him and them he gave them a bit back. I found it all very friendly and heart felt. While walking back to the Volunteer House from the store one afternoon a small group of children followed us and put their hands out. We visited with them a bit and then told them if they would carry our groceries we would pay them. They were so thrilled and happy and enthusiastic about their "job." They took it very seriously. Then we paid them more than enough and they felt so good. When you get there you will figure out what makes sense to you. It is such a difficult thing. I am not sure about toys. What they need most I think is food."
Bainbridge Island, WA mom to 5 including Yerus 7, home 1 year in Jan!
1) Heard on a 50 degree evening while walking to the car, "Mom, have you ever felt so much cold before?"
2) "Mom, how do the blinkers know how to tell you where to go?" (She thought that I followed the little arrows that miraculously showed up on my dashboard when I got close to a corner where I should turn).
3) "What? A man walked on the moon?"
4) Heard on a 30 degree morning before school, "Mom, I don't need a coat. I look outside and see the sun shining so it will be hot."
5) "How can it be light on one side of the earth and dark on the other?"
6) Heard when I was explaining why I didn't want to drive 15 miles to the next town twice on one evening to accomodate everyone's extracurricular activity schedules (cost for one thing). "Why do you say it costs money to drive? Who do you pay? No one drive you. (I explain about paying for gas) "What, gas costs money?"
7) Heard when explaining that although it was nice weather that day, 2 days from then (Halloween) it would be very cold. "Mom, how do you know if 2 days from now the weather will be cold?" ("I listened to the weather man"), "What? How can that man know the weather in 2 days? does he go up in the sky?"
8) Heard from our daughter after she had been home with us at least 3 months. I was explaining to the girls that they might have to ride the bus home instead of me picking them up from school as I usually did that day of the week. I explained that I had a patient who was in labor and that she might deliver around the time school was getting out. "Mom, why you have to be there?" (I explain that I am this woman's doctor and that I have to be there in case the baby has any trouble coming out). "What? You a doctor??" (I have no idea what she thought I did/where I went all those days and nights when I went to work).
9) "Mom, I can't wait to see what the trees look like without their leaves"and finally....
10) Heard from our daughter as she was carrying her gifts up to her room after her birthday party, "America, America....( the song, evidently taught to her at AAI but I hadn't heard her sing it until that moment). (In other words..."I love this country!"
Marla in Kansas--Mother to 5 including 2 from Ethiopia, home 5 months
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what other claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
this benediction from Philip Yancey’s book Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference?:
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Last night I started hearing online that people had passed court! The person whose date had been postponed to November 13th, passed court on Tuesday. NOT ONLY THAT, but she is traveling November 10th!!!!!!!
She was in the T group. We have still not been assigned a group, so I have no idea what this means for us. It could mean nothing. But maybe, just maybe I could start getting my shots?
Also, as many of you have seen, we got a wonderul picture of the girls getting their T-town welcome bags....Oh they look excited. I hope they are...I am worried about that. They must be still so confused. I am an emotional mess right now. I am happy for our girls, I am so anxious for all the children who haven't been placed, especially the older kids. They have so much more to worry about, hope for, wish for, be sad about than our kids here in the US. I don't know how to reconcile this.
Anyway...I am back to clicking "check mail" whenever I am at the computer!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Families are given a letter group. I have heard that families for group T-U-V have been assigned. There will not be a group W (who knows why!). The next will be X and we have been updated that we might be in group Y or Z. There are groups that are going to court today! I should hear soon whether they have passed and when they will be travelling.
The other very cool thing that has happened is that we got the go ahead to send out our Welcome Bags. You are allowed to send a photo book, with no more than 15 labeled photos, 2 toys equalling 10.00, a disposable camera, a letter, and a T-shirt...We, of course, chose to "represent" and sent them T-Town shirts. This will likely be the first time that the children find out that they are being adopted. They will get their packages and KNOW....right at that moment...that we are coming to get them.
I sent the packages to Merrily the head of AAI, and she will be going to Ethiopia on the 20th. So our girls will probably know about the 22nd I think? Would you pray that the girls will not be afraid? I would be afraid, and very very sad to leave. I don't even know if the girls secretly are hoping their father will come back.
We also got our OK from homeland security to adopt. This is also a big deal. Paperwork wise...this is a hang up place.
So....perhaps our case will go to court this month...I am hoping.....If that is the case, we can expect to get a Embassy date...and that will be when I will travel. That date is usually 6-8 weeks from the court date. We could possibly have our girls home at the very end of December. However, what is the real chance at that? Things always happen. I am hoping for them home by the end of January.
By the way...when I talk of a court date, that is where we adopt the children by proxy.
I am still checking my email a million times a day, and will let you know when we get the date!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
We are happy to announce that we have accepted the referral of two girls. We're going to assume you all are excited to hear about the girls, so here is a long post about them!
How can we possibly know the girls are right for us in such a short amount of time? To be honest, we don't have much information. We were sent a grand total of three pictures, which were probably taken the day they were admitted to the orphanage. We have minimal medical records, which really tell us hardly anything), a brief history of the parents (again, not very much info), and a paragraph or two of what the girls are like at the Layla House (not...very...much...info....). We looked over all the information. We waited, prayed, waited some more. We waiting for something in either of us--a red flag...an uneasiness..SOMETHING--but it just felt right as soon as we got the report. One of our mentor friends who we share info with emailed us and said "Why wouldn't you pick them?" That is exactly what we thought! So call us faithful, hopeful, crazy, or all of the above.
Bizayehu (pronounced, as far as we can tell, beej-why-you) is 8, and Ganet (G as in girl, Gan rhymes with can, and ett: Ganet!) is 6. They both have birthdays in July. So, along with our son Abel, we will have 3 out of our 6 birthdays that month. Whew!
The girls seem healthy. There are no medical concerns at this point. Little Ganet has some malnutrition. We know that at Laya house children get to eat as much as they want, so she should be getting better. The report suggests that she should have access to a higher caloric intake than average for a girl her age...don't think that will be a problem in our house! They good news is that they have tested negative for all the medical issues that might pose problems. BUT, we realize anything could happen. There have been instances where things have shown up after coming home. Like with our bio children, as hard as it would be, we will deal with it. Is it still scary? Yes.
The girls' mom died in 2005 from AIDS and their father is HIV+.We do not know how their father came to bring them to Layla House, but the report indicates that he was not doing well. The girls will have a lot of sadness in their hearts, I would imagine.
The girls like to play with toys and swings and slides. They are reported to play well with others and are reported to be sweet. Ganet likes to eat injera, which is a traditional bread in Ethiopia. She likes cabbage, cakes and fruits. Bizayehu likes eating pasta, rice and macaroni, bananas, and mangos. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up. That sounds good to us.
It looks like I could be able to pick up the girls in late December or January. It could even go to February. It is hard to think of them there...and just paperwork seperating us. But there is a lot to do to get ready. Shots for me, plans for school, household preparations, travel plans. Thank God for all the work to keep us busy, or we might just go crazy.
Getting the referal has been exciting, scary and confusing. It has brought up alot of questions about adoption, our girls and their father, and what their lives can and will be. We would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts! We can't post the pictures online, but Deb carries pictures around, so stop her and ask to see them! We are chomping at the bit to get updated photos, and may get some soon from families who have returned from Ethiopia.
I will leave you with a little note from someone who is in Ethiopia waiting for their child...
"I just wanted to take a moment here to tell you a little bit about what I have seen today. I have the unique experience of living in Ethiopia now, only a few minute walk from Layla House. I spent the entire day at Wanna with Mussie- which was beyond wonderful.But, I wanted to let you know first that the caretakers are loving, attentive and so very capable. They really love the kids and the kids love them. They are playful and fun with the kids.I spent most of my time today in Wanna as this is where my son is. The older kids that I met were so kind and enjoyed helping out the adults and playing with the children. There was even an older brother than came to play with his little sister- so sweet and caring.Before today, we had seen twenty some pictures of Mussie and he looked bored silly in all of them. I wondered if he smiled! I played all day long with the kids in Wanna and trust me - they all smile. They are so full of life- each and every one of them. All of your kids are happy, vibrant, and so sociable with their peers and their caretakers. They are a real riot! I took a lot of pictures today, but will not be able to post them for a while. (Give me a few days!). I will keep taking pics for you as I can."
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
"To classify an alien orphan who either is, or will be, adopted by a U.S. citizen as an immediate relative of the U.S. citizen to allow the child to enter the United States. The petition is filed by the U.S. citizen who is adopting the child."
Along with that comes fingerprinting.
And we did get that appointment with homeland security! It is a small step, but a big one at the same time. We will be going to the homeland security office on 9/20 for that. We were feeling a little that things were rolling along, and I heard a few referrals being talked about on our agency blog. I knew that there were families ahead of us...so I was trying to be calm.
AND THEN.........yesterday we got the email that we have been praying for. It is a referral for two girls. I want to shout out all the info, but we can't and need to wait. We need to wait until we accept the referral... We are giving ourselves a couple of days to process, not because we have any plans to not do it, but mainly to not be crazy emotional. They seem to be a great fit. Tom is excited...I am of course excited! Tom is a wonderful balance in our family. I am ready to rush forward and do...he is more thoughtful...and so, if he is excited and positive, then I take that as a Big Ol' Green Light! As soon as we accept, we will tell you what we know about them!
WHEN we accept, we were told that it would probably be December or January for travel dates. So, I will send out another update email when we accept and also include info. We won't be able to post pictures on the internet, but I will have some printed to show around.
Oh my...This is for real!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Just in case you were wondering who Viggo is. He is a purebred rough collie. He is 10 weeks old and we have had him for a little over 2 weeks. He is very cute, sweet and smart. He is however a baby, and along with that comes a lot of baby things...like poop! Here he is laying with a stuffed version of himself.
But we got great news today!
Our Dossier was put into final form and it will be shipped to Ethiopia in the morning. We have been added to the child referral waiting list. There are several other families requesting children in the same age range as our family who had their Dossiers sent to Ethiopia in the last two months.
That is nerve wracking....but there is nuttin to do but wait.
Approximately 30 children will be joining their adoptive families in the coming month. This will leave additional room at Layla House for new children to be admitted. A new waiting child video will be put together and should be available in mid to late September and we have been added to the video shipping list.
We have enough to do in the next few weeks into September with Viggo our newest addition, PTA, soccer, school, Cross Country, so I guess this is good. I have faith that the right children are out there for us. I reluctantly put it into God's hands....LOL
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Here is an entry from Two More Waals. They are a family who have had their children for about a month. This entry was especially heart wretching and warming in a weird way. Visit their site to learn more about their journey.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
A Few Steps Back
For the first two full weeks things have gone much better than we ever expected. Neti and Meke's integration into the family felt complete. Still does. However, we've hit a bump in the road as of late.We first noticed a change in Neti just a few days ago. During the day you wouldn't notice a difference. She still picks up new English words every day. She makes jokes ("Daddy little, Neti BIIIIIGGGG!" - giggle). She tickles her sisters, sings along with Bob and Larry, squeals in amusement at anything new, and regularly flashes a toothless smile while throwing her head back with yet another infectious giggle. Bedtime introduces a different world. No longer does Neti find rest quickly. Instead, she spends the better part of an hour (or more) laying on her side, eyes glassy, sleep elusive. She's lost in a world only an orphan of her age could understand.It seems grief has caught up to our little girl after being held at bay by scores of distractions thrown at her by the new world she's found herself in. What's she grieving? Can't say for sure. The old country with the busy streets? The food? Her friends at the orphanage? The smell? Her bed? Her teachers? Her language? Culture? She's lost all these things in a very short time period. What about the death of Mom and Dad? When a child of 6 assumes the role of Mom, does she bypass the grief process because of the added weight of responsibility? Who know's what Neti's grieving? And who knows how long she's held it in? Meke hasn't slept as well either. She tosses and turns. She wakes up crying and sweaty. Last night she fell out of bed. Then she woke up at 5:30 and didn't want to go back to sleep. But when the sun comes up things renew. Happy Neti and Bouncy Meke attack the day with the intensity of a child on Christmas morning. The video clips of giggling girls that many of you have watched over and over repeat themselves in realtime on a daily basis. During the day you wouldn't know that something heavy is rolling around inside those little heads.I know this is a normal part of the process. With things going so well I though we had somehow leapfrogged the inevitable. Now here we are, dealing with the grief of two little girls. Don't interpret this entry as a complaint, disappointment, or a play for sympathy. It's just to keep you informed. This is what we expected. This is what we signed up to do. We ask for your prayers for our grieving girls.
We/I am moving all our bedrooms around. What a mess. I have to remind myself though that there is no hurry. It has taken too much time to do, probably meaning we have too much "stuff".
We did get a dog. All I can say is that is has been a COMPLETE disruption. He is extremely cute and smart......and a baby. Hmmmm I know there is absolutely no comparison between puppies and adoption BUT........
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
On the homefront, here is part of an email I recieved from AAI.
"Your Dossier cover document was sent to the State Department and Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.C. for Authentication. It typically takes 4 weeks for this document to be returned. Once we have the authenticated document, I will assemble the Dossier and ship to Ethiopia."
Now we are waiting for a referral. That can come from us finding children we want from the waiting children video, or from AAI searching and finding us a match. The video does not show children in exactly the age range we want. Lots are older and younger than we are looking for. Seems like we are talking about it like we are shopping. We aren't. I am pretty sure that we will KNOW when we see them. This whole thing is going to be challenging enough, we don't want to take on more issues than our family can handle.
That is all for now!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I waited until soccer was over and we were all home and hudled in front of the tv. My heart fell.....These children are so beautiful and so scared and mostly sad. You wouldn't be able to tell just from seeing their pictures, or the video. But when the translator asks the children if they know their family history, and they say that their mom and dad have died of AIDS, you "see" it, and feel it.
I don't even know how to explain how heartbreaking that is.
I said out loud, "we could take those kids
BUT, what is encouraging is looking at the list that AAI has sent us, along with the video and seeing as they come on screen that a sibling group of 3 are on hold, or placed. That is encouraging.
We are waiting to talk to AAI. It is not as easy as seeing beautiful children. We have to take into account their "levels of age" (that is my term) For example, a 10 year old's physical age (which might be older or younger than Abel (but they don't celebrate birthdays and don't really know how old they are--there are guesses and semi-medical ways of telling.), school age (which might be a lot younger than Abel's because of language, and lack of schooling.), life experience age, (which might be older than Abel because of say, living on the street for 4 years.), and emotional age (which could be a blend, of not having stability and care, and then of seeing both your parents die, or abandon you.). All these issues blended together will have to be taken into account. Whew...not easy.
We are going to slow down just a bit. After talking to AAI, we are going to go on our trip--watch a suggested video series and not get wound up in picking children right...this...minute.
Prayers are requested! Thanks!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
During our home study, Susan, the representative from Adoption Advocates International, showed us a video about trans-racially adopted children who are now adults. In the video, these adults recounted their experiences of being adopted by parents of different races. It was an astonishingly eye-opening video, and it shows that taking on such a task will not be all lullabys and kisses. These adults had some issues!
Afterwards, Deb and I talked about the video with Susan and she said that this was a great time for us to consider the question: Why are we doing this? Why do we want to adopt children, specifically from Ethiopia?
If we told the adults in the video that we were doing this to "save" two unfortunate Ethiopian girls, they would certainly call us out for our well-meaning racism. And they would be right. Not only that, but I don't think the answer would be true. And honestly, I think we're doing this for a better, purer reason.
The reason we're adopting girls from Ethiopia is that we want daughters, and we want them to be beautiful and wonderful and increase the wonderfulness of our family. At least at this early stage in the process, we're feeling pretty certain that adopting from Ethiopia will give us the greatest chance of success in that area. Does this mean it will be easy? Heck no. It will probably be very hard, mostly in the same way it's hard to have biological children. But on top of that, we'll have to deal with issues of confused identity and racism and loss, just to mention the obvious ones.
Deb and I thought about what our future daughters would want to hear, when they asked us why we brought them into our lives. The answer would have to be honest, as the girls would have their whole lives to analyze it for authenticity. So no phoniness allowed. If I were them, I would want to hear the truth, and if the truth was that we did this because we wanted them in our lives, because we valued them enough to take on all the hassles and expense and scariness and risk, then that, it seems to me would feel pretty good.
So my daughters, just to be clear, and just in case you ever read this, here's why we adopted you: Because you seemed wonderful to us. Because our lives would be so much better with you than without you. Because you were so beautiful. Because you had so much to give to us. Were we trying to save you? Not so much. We wanted you. Maybe, in the end, you'd be the ones to save us.
Monday, July 09, 2007
I am exicted and a little terrified. Lately I have been overcome by feelings of "We can do this" and sometimes at night, I feel like my breath is taken away with feelings of doubt. Not doubt that it won't happen or that I don't have the means to do this, but doubt that I will be a good mother to two little girls ripped from their homeland. We have things to offer, I just hope that what THEY need is what we can give. I cannot imagine the loss and grief that they are and will go through. I am afraid for them and hopeful for them, and I don't even know them!
After our homestudy, I expect that we will get to see some children via video. I can't wait....I just can't. I think that they boys will be able to feel more involved once they physically see what the children look like and can put some faces with this process.
I am reading a wonderful book called "There is No Me Without You"
I will fill in more info as I go along in the book.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This process is so scary and full of unknowns...I think we are just scraping the surface for what is in store. BUT...we have started to pay the big bucks so it feels more real. I will feel like we are on our way once we get an appointment for the homestudy!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
I visit a blog called Owlhaven.
"Mary is wife to John, and mom to 8 great kids ages 2-19, including 2 from Korea & 2 from Ethiopia. We currently are awaiting two more girls from Ethiopia, ages 11 & 9. Yes, that's TEN kids. No, we're not insane. Yet.I spend my days receiving sticky kisses, cooking spicy Korean and Ethiopian food, weeding our mega-garden, arbitrating squabbles over the best spot on the couch, persuading kids that someday they'll need fractions, and marveling at the blessing of our life. Very late at night, I write about it all."
I was intrigued with her life, not only because it is so full, but I saw that they were adopting again, AND I saw pictures! The girls they are adopting are so beautiful and look so full of life...I looked into the Ethiopian adoption and my heart flipped! The agency that we are going through is in Port Angeles, and there are only a few that do Ethiopian adoptions in the nation. The timeline seems shorter than I thought it would be. The cost is large, but with Russell puts 8,000 dollars towards adoption, and of course there is a great tax write off, so it just might be something we can pull off. There is a great blog about adoption, and if you want to read and understand more, please visit it! Do a search about Ethiopia and it's history, it is quite interesting!