Monday, June 27, 2011

Waiting

We still haven't received clearance from the Embassy. I had hoped and thought we'd hear by now since the last group submitted from our agency heard within a couple days. But that's the problem with setting expectations on something you have zero control over.

We also know that as of last week, those families cleared weren't getting Embassy appointments until mid-July. So it would appear the rumored Embassy slowdown (due to staffing changes and vacation) has gone into effect. The bottom line...we won't be traveling as soon as we had hoped. Just staying focused on the fact that she will be hear soon. Perhaps not as soon as we'd like, but soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers...today our case was submitted to the US Embassy! Tears of joy. So now we wait for the Embassy to review our case and grant us clearance to travel. That can take anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks. Typically it's been 1-2 weeks.

This is it...the last step in the journey to bring home M!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Doting On Her

Etta gets some serious love from her big brothers. They adore her. Today I found Spencer putting ice on an "owie" she got while reading her a book at the same time. Blake tells her all sorts of sweet-nothings and is the most attentive four year old I know. Lots of  "I love you Etta." Today it was "I love you all the way up to the moon in outer space." And boy does she soak up all that lovin'.



 These two have become quite the buddies while Spencer is at kindergarten. They are serious playmates. They love to catch insects (or in this case salamanders) together.




And of course she gets all sorts of love from her papa.

It will be interesting to see how Etta feels about sharing all the attention with her sister. I am confident there is plenty to go around.

Feel free to say a little prayer when you go to sleep tonight that we move closer to bringing M home. While we sleep, we hope our case is submitted to the Embassy. Lots of arms waiting to hug her.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Disappointment

We were not submitted to Embassy today. Our agency is only allowed to submit cases once/week and it's on Tuesdays. Tuesday is also the day our agency hears from the staff in Ethiopia on anything that happened the prior week. So we look to next Tuesday.

I knew all along that if we had been submitted today, it would have been one of the soonest submissions from court that I had ever heard of with our agency.  That said, we had our court decree and birth certificate within a couple days of passing court so I guess I was hopeful things would continue to progress at the same rate. So despite trying not get my hopes up, disappointment it is. From what I understand, we are now waiting for M's passport to be submitted.

On a positive note, we did get a health update on sweet M. It states she is "playful and happy looking." Especially meaningful considering the assessment was shortly after she moved to the new Care Center. I've been so worried about her. The last little bit of time with her when she knew we were leaving and how incredibly sad she was that she couldn't leave with us weighs heavily on us. She  knows and remembers so much. To get that little slice of news warmed my heart.

We still feel an urgency in getting her home. So we set our hearts to next Tuesday.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Year Ago

One year ago today we first met our daughter. The build up to that day is difficult to describe. Months of waiting...not knowing the impact of the trauma our little girl had already faced, both physically due to severe malnourishment, and emotionally for all she had been through. So we worried. Worried until the day we met. And then the worry went away. Because she was ours. And she was alright. And we already loved her.




And one year later she continues to amaze us. She is happy, confident, strong-willed, wise, funny, smart. She lights up the lives of everyone she meets. Our daughter has a soul that absolutely sparkles.





 

And she is loved.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Closer to her

We learned today M was transferred to the Care Center in Addis! This is good news because it means we are one step closer. She can now be scheduled for an appointment with the Embassy doctor for her physical, which must be done before we can be submitted to the Embassy. We know this transition may be hard on her. We just hope she understands it means she's almost coming home.

We did find out last week that we have her Birth Certificate! This was such good news because MOWCYA has to write a letter for the BC and that can sometimes take weeks. So because we got her BC, we received all the necessary paperwork that we needed to complete for Embassy submission. We overnighted it back to our agency and really hope this means we'll soon hear the good news that our case has been submitted.

We also still need MOWCYA to write a letter in order to receive her passport. We've been so lucky with MOWCYA so far, but our agency has no control over how fast the letter gets written. Sending lots of good energy (and prayers) that it happens quickly.

Tuesdays are the day our agency receives all the news from the prior week from the staff in ET. So we look to next Tuesday in hopes of receiving some miraculous news.

We need our daughter home.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What now?

I'm often asked why we can't bring our daughter home now. The next big step is to be submitted to the Embassy, where they review your case and grant you clearance to travel. These are the steps that have to occur before Embassy submission:
  • Court decree has to be issued - we have ours!
  • MOWCYA has to write a letter to have a birth certificate created
  • Once the BC is issued, we send in paperwork to be included with the file for Embassy
  • Only after the BC is issued can MOWCYA then write another letter to get M's passport
  • Then we can be submitted to the Embassy
  • M will also need to go through a physical to receive medical clearance to travel home
The soonest any family from our agency has been submitted to Embassy after court has been about 3 weeks (in recent history). That's not average...but the soonest. We are hoping hoping hoping to meet or beat that timeline. We know that recently, 5 families with another agency were submitted to Embassy after 2 weeks. So it can be done.

We are also awaiting news of when our daughter is transferred to Addis. Children are typically transferred from the orphanage in the South to Addis shortly after the court decree has been issued. I know it may be a difficult transition for her, but it means we are one step closer to each other.