Thursday, September 27, 2007

Introducing.....Bizayehu and Genet!

We would like to introduce to you Bizayehu and Ganet!

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 ( We looked over all the information. We waited, prayed, waited some more. We waiting for something in either of us--a red 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."

The Llews

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Ok, so we are going along....and nothing is happening. I check my email all the time for some news realizing it could be weeks, months..who knows? In the meantime, we have gotten word that our I600 petition had been filed.Here is a little blurb about what that is.

"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 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!