Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Little Patience

Last week we met Erin, our social worker, at our agency. We had been anxiously waiting all week for our home study packet- checking the mail each afternoon to see if it had arrived. When it had not arrived by Thursday, we decided it was never coming and we should probably go and get a new one from Erin. She was happy to oblige and we were fortunate because we were able to sit down with her and have her explain the home study packet and answer some questions. She is so great- she’s very down to earth and patient with our questions. (We, on the other hand, were lacking patience – our home study packet was in the mailbox that afternoon when we returned from the agency!)

So, now we begin to compile our home study documents. This includes our autobiographies (we each write our own- Kevin has already started!), local police checks, DFS checks, draft letter to the Ethiopian government, our references (we chose 5 people – Erin will mail them the forms), and more that I cannot remember without looking at our checklist. After we turn in all of the home study paperwork, we will meet with Erin at the agency for individual interviews. Then she will come to our house for a visit and another interview with both of us.

And, for an update on the licensing – still no word from the Ethiopian government. According to our program director, they are in the final review stage and then it will be approved by the ministry that handles adoption. Based on her experience, she sees no reason why they would not be approved, and the timeline is really quite standard for approval. So, we will practice patience - and they gave us a great reading list to focus on in the meantime (although I think we have enough to do with the home study!).

Thanks to everyone for being so supportive, and for actually reading our blog – we can’t wait until we have a photo to post of our new little one. I’d better get to work on my autobiography so that can happen as soon as possible!

And, if anyone is interested in reading about a family that has recently adopted from Ethiopia - there is a wonderful (and much more witty) blog: Addis Ababy


Thursday, January 11, 2007

We have a social worker

The first phase of this adoption has really taken shape this week. Today I spoke with our social worker for the first time. Her name is Erin and I was really impressed with her. She answered a lot of questions that will really help Stacie and I progress to the next step. Erin informed me that she mailed out the "Home study Packet" and we should receive it by Saturday. This packet will contain all the information we need in order to start the actual home study. Examples of stuff we will be working on over the next couple of weeks are; financial statements, references, physician letters, copies of legal documents, fingerprinting, passports, etc.

While we are still in the earliest of stages, speaking with the social worker for the first time felt like a huge step in the right direction. We will post again when we have something new to report.

Talk to you soon,


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We've been accepted! Now What?

Just to keep everyone updated~ we received a call today from our wonderful program coordinator at our agency, Sharon. She let us know that our initial application had been accepted and we would be hearing soon from our social worker. She also let us know that they are still waiting to hear about their licensing approval from Ethiopia. Hopefully they will hear in the next few days.

Now What? Well, now begins the arduous paperwork and the home study. Our social worker will let us know what we need to get started on, but we know that we need to get our fingerprints done, get copies of birth and marriage certificates, letters of recommendation, letters from our physician, proof of life and health insurance, and more. (I’m only naming what I can remember off the top of my head!)

We are both excited to have gotten word on being accepted because now we can really get started on the paperwork. We’ve cleaned out the baby’s room (formerly known as the office), and have been nesting around the house (I’ve decided you nest early with adoption), so we’re ready to get busy with the official stuff. We'll post again when we hear from our social worker.


Friday, January 5, 2007

The Beginning

Hi Everyone!

We weren't sure when to start telling people this, but we've started thinking that we need all the prayers and good thoughts we can get, and we're very excited, so the news is breaking.

We decided to adopt from Ethiopia. We went to a meeting recently at our agency (Children’s Hope International) and they were going through the details on each country’s program. We were listening to each (even the ones we knew we weren’t interested in) and then they started talking about Ethiopia, and we heard that there are over 5 million orphans in the country, and that they have multiples- twins, even triplets – available for adoption. At that moment, Kevin & I turned to each other and that was it, we just knew.

In case you’re interested I’m including information to answer questions because this is a big process, and we are only at the very beginning of it. I’ll go ahead and answer some of the FAQs.

Where We’re At:

THE BEGINNING! We have just submitted our initial application. Our agency is not even licensed in Ethiopia yet, although they have been working on it since last year and are hopefully only a few weeks away (or less). After they get licensed, and we get accepted, we will begin our Home Study and Dossier preparation. The home study will consist of a visit to our home (with our THREE dogs!) and individual interviews with our case worker. We used to feel intimidated by the home study, but now we’re so ready to get moving- we’re not as worried about it. The dossier is a BUNCH of paperwork that needs to be submitted for our government and the Ethiopian government.

How Long Until We Meet that Baby?

According to our agency, the home study & dossier process can take 2-6 months – with a lot of that depending on how fast the parents-to-be get things done. Kevin and I are on a mission to get through this part quickly. After all of our paperwork is submitted to the Ethiopian government we wait for a referral. A referral is when they send a picture and some information about the child (or children- I forgot to mention, we’re open to twins!) that we have been matched with. This could take anywhere from 4-6 months (but it could be much less). After the referral there will be a 2-3 month wait for travel time. After that time, we will travel to Ethiopia to bring our child (ren) home.


The flight is 24 hours total, but obviously it will be worth it. Chrissy calls the flight home with our new baby (ies) our “labor.” Too bad there is no epidural for flying 24 hours with a baby (ies).

We will be staying in the capital of Ethiopia- Addis Ababa.

Boy or Girl?

Lots of people have asked us this one, so I’m including it. You can choose whether or not you want to adopt a boy or a girl. Kevin and I, however, are not going to choose. This pretty much means we will have a boy. Surprisingly, most people that adopt request a girl. That means there are many more boys that are left waiting. We decided to be open because we are first time parents, and we couldn’t choose if we had a biological child, so we’ll leave this one up to God. And, if we have twins, maybe we’ll get a boy and a girl.

So, as I mentioned, we are at the beginning of this wonderful process. Things could all change tomorrow- international adoption is never cut & dry or simple, but we’re ready to take it on, so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!