Well this post won't be that thrilling but I get asked all the time where we are in our adoption. If you are confused you are not alone. We sometimes feel confused. Ben explained it best when he said we should be moving from point A to point B to point C. However, we seem to be doing this in the same way a slow river meanders through the country rather than in a straight line. Also the process is not always very clearly explained to us. Here is where we are as far as we know and have gathered from our agency and our research. It is NOT the same way things were done when we adopted the boys four years ago.
Dec 19th - got referral for 3 months old baby girl. At this point we were told it would be about a six week wait to get a letter we needed to file for court in Ethiopia. Due to many changes in the systems this letter took three months to get.
March 22nd - got letter and were put in for a court date. We were told that it would take about 8-10 weeks until we traveled for our court date from this date. There are actually two court dates. As I understand it the first is to confirm the child should be adopted - either the birth mother relinquishes their child OR the abandoned child is confirmed as abandoned. Once you pass the first court date you are generally scheduled for your travel court date a month later. This is the time you go there and go to court in Ethiopia to say that yes you want to adopt the child. It has already been three weeks and we have not yet had our first court date scheduled. The agency has recently told us their first 8-10 week travel time frame might not be accurate and that it could take as long as 6-8 week just to FIND out when the FIRST court date will happen. These dates are very random. People who got their letter the same day as us and were put in for court the same time as us have had their first courts dates scheduled one week, three weeks and one person 7 weeks out. Others of us are still waiting to have our dates scheduled.
Once we have our first court date we will let you know as we should be traveling about a month later. But we could definitely use prayers with timing. It is tricky as Ben finishes the job he is in now at the beginning of July has two weeks off and immediately leaves us for a month long training for his new job. As soon as training is over he heads to Hawaii to start the new job. He has been granted permission to meet me in Ethiopia for court but it gets tricky as his schedule gets busier. A May or June travel date would be best. On top of all this is the knowledge that the courts in Ethiopia close for the summer months. Then there appears to be a bit of back log getting the system up and running again in the fall. If we miss the spring court we are in for a long wait. This puts our baby girl in the orphanage longer. It is a good orphanage. She is healthy and well and growing more beautiful every week. But it is an orphanage. If you know anything about adopting children, the longer they are in an orphanage the harder their transition can be. Humans do not naturally know how to attach or bond to their parents. They are taught this by their parents. Watch a mom with her new born when she is staring in its little face and talking soft and high to the baby. That is a mom teaching her child to bond. While our daughter is for sure getting physical care and I am sure is held at times, the ratio of babies to caregivers is 9 to 1. She can't be getting the love and attention a baby needs.
Please pray with us for something to speed up in our process. To be honest the thought of her being here right now is a bit overwhelming as this deployment has been rougher than I had anticipated and I have never had a small baby before. BUT the thought of the consequences of her not being with us right now loom over me and I would so much rather have her here in our arms to love and cherish even if it made life a bit more crazy.
And the boys.. they are incredible. Seriously they are amazing. This last week I had volunteered to help out at an event selling cups. I had to drag them with me and I was sure they were bored out of their minds. Not so. They are so easy going. They laughed and talked about it like it was the best thing ever to watch a 5 K race and sell cups. They make my days crazy and hectic but also so full of laughter, love and fun. They continue to be the only reason we would even consider going through the crazy obnoxious process of adopting again.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Last week was a big week in our house as Yared turned 8. I still can't quite get over that it has been four years since we first met our sweet, talented, fun little man. It is such a joy to do exciting things for him as he loves life in general but do a party for him and he is ecstatic the whole time. He has this grin on his face pretty much the whole weekend. Our neighbors went to Texas and came home with cowboy hats for the boys. Yared has taken to wearing his most days so it was not surprising that he showed up for his beach birthday with it on. We didn't have great weather but no one really seemed to mind.
We started things off with an old fashioned sac race, except these bags are not made of burlap.....
Lunch time on picnic tables with seats too far out means little ones just stand.
My tired clean up crew.
Finally we made it to his actual Birthday. The boys and I went out to breakfast to celebrate and then he opened his gifts. Serious joy here.
Happy 8th Birthday Yared. Thanks to friends and family for making him feel so loved and special. We sure missed Dad being here but with so much love coming his way he was able to enjoy himself.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
We just got home last night from our version of a spring break. Originally Ben and I thought that we would be traveling to Ethiopia in March for our court date. But as we still have made no progress since December on our adoption I knew March was a no go. The teacher in me dreads March as it seems like the month with no breaks and when the school year is bogged down in boring routine. I made the excutive home school decision to go on a trip. It worked our well. We did a big loop going north to Mariposa and then West to the Bay area and then finally south to come home. It is really hitting home that soon we will be in Hawaii and unable to road trip it to see so many of those we love. I was great with taking pictures some places and lousy at others. We were even able to be with my Dad for his 76th Birthday.
My mom's cat. This cat deserves a medal for surviving in the wild as long as he has. My poor mom has gone through about 12 cats in the 10 years they have lived in Mariposa. The only ones that make it are the big beasts like this that can camouflage into the grass. His name means "two" in Swahilli but number one and number three didn't make it. That leaves number two all alone.
At my parents celebrating Babu's birthday. He had to go on a scavenger hunt to find his presents which were hidden in the polaris. This of course thrilled the boys as they then got a ride.
I am frustrated that I didn't get pictures with the friends I visited too. I do have them on my iphone but that doesn't count as I am too lazy to get them up on this blog. I was able to meet up with some of my closest friends in California and it was a REAL treat. I am hoping I inspired some of them to want to come visit us in Hawaii soon.
As promised I will end with adoption news..hmmm there ins't much news to share. We are STILL waiting on a letter to apply for court. Rumor mill has it that the letter is coming from a region that has stopped giving letters for a little bit. Supposedly things were going to pick up after March 10th but as we are on March 19th and there is no good news flowing I am not sure if that date was real or not. Our sweet baby is around 7 months old now and cuter than ever. She was very sick for a month there so it is great to get weekly pictures with her smiling healthy face. I can't wait to meet her in person. The courts close in July so prayer that we could get a court date before then would be greatly appreciated. While I desperately want her here with us, I am seeing the boys need me and my undivided attention right now. It is hard having Dad gone so long. It is exciting but also overwhelming for them to know they move again this summer. It has been a harder deployment than I had anticipated. They are great kiddos but they still struggle like all of us and we have had our share of tantrums and out of control emotions..not all me either:).