Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Waiting for a Baby Sister

Do these two look like they're ready for a baby sister? The prediction is that she will be the most docile of girlie girls who will not know what hit her. Don't let them fool you though...they are my sweet boys.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Anxiously Awaiting The Call

Our Dossier has been approved by Holt and we are being told we are now number 4
on the waitlist. I thought the wait would get easier as we got closer, but I find myself so focused on when the phone will ring! I actually told my husband to stop calling me on the home phone when he's at work and to use my cell phone instead. He didn't understand why he sensed disappointment when I answered his 3rd call of the afternoon :-)
I have never looked so forward to Mondays as I do now. I wake up each day wondering if today is they day we will know who our daughter is. When we began our official wait with Holt, they said we should expect to be matched within 1-2 months. It's been 5 weeks so it could be today, or a few weeks from now.
Predictions anyone??

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dossier Done (again)!

...and is on its way via FedEx to Holt. We had so much fun the first time, we thought we'd do it again! When we switched agencies, our dossier was already in Ethiopia and so it was not returned to us from our previous agency. That meant we had to completely re-create it. Why the push to do it quickly? Well, for two reasons. First, although we are on the official waitlist to be matched with a child, Holt will first match families who have completed their dossier. So apparently we are #5 or 6 on the waitlist but could potentially move up even higher once our dossier is approved. Secondly, once Holt approves your dossier, it goes on to the Ethiopian and U.S. Embassies in Washington D.C. for authentication which can take a couple weeks. Then it gets sent to Ethiopia to be translated and authenticated in-country, which is another few weeks. You cannot get a court date scheduled until Ethiopia has your dossier. It's not a big deal now since we haven't yet been matched with our daughter, but when we are, the sooner you get a court date (and pass court of course), the sooner you can bring your child home. I've been asked what the dossier is. Essentially, it's all the legal documents that support why you are eligible to adopt. Here is the list of documents. All of them have to be notarized, and a few have to also be certified by the state.
  • Home Study Report
  • Power of Attorney (for Holt to act on your behalf through the court proceedings in Ethiopia)
  • Certified birth certificates and marriage certificate
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Police clearance letters
  • Medical certifications from Physician
  • Letters from employer
  • Letter from Bank
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Attestation of "Personal Conditions" (assets/debts)
  • Letter to MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia) on why you want to adopt
  • And a few other ancillary documents

So now we've done all we can at this point on our journey to our daughter...now we just want to know who she is!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What I've Learned So Far

I was naive when we began this adoption journey over a year ago. Here is what I've learned so far:
  • that when I first researched Ethiopia and read there are 5 million orphans, most of these orphans are not the children that are adopted
  • many children are relinquished by a living birth parent because they are no longer able to care for them
  • that I would struggle so much with the realization our daughter will likely come to us because her mother loved her so much
  • that I would have to so deeply question the ethics surrounding international adoption; that there are only a handful of agencies out of many I would trust to handle our adoption
  • that no matter how hard the wait is, we are lucky to be waiting; that at this moment in Ethiopia, a mother's heart will forever ache because she has made the most selfless decision to give up her child for adoption
  • that the adoption community would be such a huge support network
  • that you have to have faith that no matter how difficult the journey, it is leading you to the child you are meant for

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Perspective on Waiting

I've been reading about and empathizing with other families who are waiting....waiting to get "the call." Waiting to be assigned a court date. Waiting to hear if you passed court. Waiting to bring your child home. And for some, there is no end in sight to the wait. I think because we are close to being matched with our daughter, I find myself thinking a lot more about what the wait means to our daughter's birth family. Today, I read the words of an adoptive parent, CarrieOutWest, who shared her perspective now that her wait is over. She could not be more right... I am sincerely sorry for everyone who has endured the endless delays of late. Waiting is grueling, which is only compounded when you don't know when or where the end will be. It cuts to the core. What I am about to say does not change the hurt and the hard of the wait and it is in no way meant to belittle all of the emotions wrapped up in the wait. Our wait is beautiful. We are waiting to say hello to our future. We are waiting with hope. Waiting with dreams of what will come and visions of family. The families of our children are waiting to say goodbye. Waiting to kiss their cheek for a final time. To smell their sweet skin and whisper in their ears. They are waiting for loss. Loss that most of us will never have to bear. And our children will wait too. They will wait for all that is known to return to them and yet it never will. They will wait to hear the whispers of those who love them again. Whispers they will never hear. If children are not lingering in care. If the agencies we use are acting without haste and due care, then we should be at peace because a decision has not had to be made to say goodbye. There will be one more day. One more kiss. One more moment. I wish I could go back in time and sit next to the important people in my daughters' lives and whisper in their ears. Just one more day. Give them one more day. Take your time. I will wait here as long as you ask me to.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. Consider these statistics for Ethiopia alone: 980,000 Number of people in Ethiopia living with HIV/AIDS 92,000 Number of children in Ethiopia living with HIV/AIDS 67,000 Number of HIV/AIDS deaths in Ethiopia in 2007 Please watch this video. AHOPE is a non-profit organization in Ethiopia that cares for HIV+ orphans. video