Monday, April 28, 2008

Give the Government Credit

Many times we hear complaints about the government and many times I am the one complaining. I will have to give the government points for our first encounter with them so far this adoption. Sarah received her passport today. We applied at the post office in Nixa on April 19th and she received it today. That is 10 days total, 4 of which were weekend days. I had heard they were moving fast but was really surprised it was this quick. Hopefully mine will come tomorrow or shortly there after. The next big hurdle with the government will be getting our application through customs but I also hear that is moving very fast.

What's not moving fast is getting final approval on our home study. The home study is complete and signed off by the social worker but someone at Holt's main office in Oregon has to review it for any words or phrases that won't translate to Amharic which is the language in Ethiopia. I've heard they've been very busy getting referrals ready but can't they take a little time to review our study???? We literally have our Dossier ready and will send off immediately upon receiving the final home study.

A couple of people have asked about the title of the blog, 7,999 Miles, so I thought I'd explain. It's really very simple, from Nixa, Missouri to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia it is 7,999 miles. I thought it was cool and clever.

Not much else to report at this time. I keep thinking I'm going to have big news to post but not yet. Hopefully the blog won't get too boring. Already up to almost 450 visits to the site!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Home Study Complete and Other News

Well our home study is officially complete after our meeting this morning. We are still waiting a sign off from the main office but we expect that on Monday and then we should get the home study on Tuesday via Fed Ex and then we will either certify and send off on Tuesday or Wednesday. That's our plan now, all subject to change.

After that everything is truly in God's hands. They recently changed the law in Ethiopia on what defines orphan status. It used to be that a baby would have to be abandoned for three months before they could be declared an orphan. The new law says the baby only has to be abandoned for two months. I think this is a great change because it will get babies to their new families even sooner and help with any attachment issues. One Holt family received word of their referral on March 28th, have a court date of May 16th, and then will travel shortly after that to pick up their baby. The baby will be approximately 5 months when they come home. That is about as young as you can get in the adoption world and we are praying for as young as possible for us.

I've also heard recently that Ethiopia is not certifiying any new agencies as of now. Holt just received their certification in January so we are thankful for this. We truly feel that Holt is the best agency out there.

A lot has been in the news the past day about the status of adoptions in Vietnam. A friend and co-worker of mine and her husband had just started the process and were planning on sending in their dossier documents today with the first part of the installment due for the adoption. Word came out today that the US is stopping any adoptions that don't have referrals by September 1st. As a result they are looking at other countries to go to. What is being reported as going on in Vietnam is truly heart breaking. There is a lot of baby selling going on and a lot of babies being taken from their mothers and sold to adoption agencies. It's probably a good thing the US is putting a hold on things right now but it's also heart breaking to think about the kids that won't have homes as a result of a few unethical agencies.

I'm about to roll out my new blog. I have tons of ideas to post so look for that to come out soon. We hope to make some progress this weekend on our to do list before the adoption. Hopefully Leah will cooperate!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nothing Much New

The last two days haven't had too much happen towards the adoption. We got another document signed and notarized today so all we have left is picking up our letters from the police department with our new address and then waiting for the home study to be complete.

There may be a slight delay in getting our home study. Judy, our case worker, said she would have it complete on Friday but at the time didn't realize the Ethiopian director, who is also the director of Holts Korea program, was in Korea. She is seeing if her assistant will sign off. If you read this please pray that she can so we can get this sent off. I really think once it is sent off I will be a little more patient for a while. Well.....maybe. I'm slightly afraid we may have gotten ahead of ourselves and have wishful thinking but everything we hear is three months for a referral of a boy. That being said we have plenty to do between now and then. Some items left to complete before the adoption include...

1) Set up Leah's new room with big kid bed
2) Set up nursery
3) New Camcorder-I'm justifying this by telling myself everyone back home will want pictures why we are over there
4) Lap Top-This is a necessity, our desktop is about to break, horrible noise when we start it and then it flashes some lights and finally comes in
5) Put Together Leah's swing set

Hopefully we'll start putting some dents in some of this stuff.

On a side note I was talking to some people at church tonight and I've decided I think I will start another blog unrelated to the adoption. I have so many politcal rants and other stuff I like to go on that probably don't belong on an adoption blog. Look for that coming soon.......(I'm sure you are all holding your breath!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Paper Pregnancy

Well we are ALMOST paper pregnant. For those of you outside the adoption world paper pregnancy basically means that we are completed with all of our paperwork and are officially waiting.

Tonight we went to dinner with our friends, the Sixkillers, at Bandannas BBQ in Springfield. Not a bad place. Hadn't ate there in almost a year and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Not very crowded but food was excellent. Melissa Sixkiller is our "traveling notary." If you've been through the adoption process you know there is a ton of paperwork most of which has to be notarized. We would definitely have a lot more work to do if she wasn't as flexible and available to notarize whenever and wherever.

This afternoon I got our bank letter. Some of you who know me may recall that I have a tendancy to get all worked up and worried about stuff, and then it never even happens. (Some of you will remember that I was positive we had termites in our old house before the buyer had the inspection.) Well I had read online that people were having a terrible time getting a letter from their bank stating they are a customer in good standing. Bank of America is known to be the worst. We bank at US Bank so I had no idea what to expect. My co workers today will tell you I was fired up before I headed to the bank. I had already planned it in my mind that when they didn't give me the letter that I was going to demand to talk to the president of the bank and demand they give me every cent we have in our accounts and I was going to do WHATEVER it took to get the letter. I walked in around 1:30 and walked out about 1:45 with a letter exactly as I needed. I had prayed before I walked in not to let this be the hold up because we have everything else done or lined up to be completed this week and I had read where this delayed people greatly. God is good and he took care of it.

Where does that leave us? Well besides waiting on the home study which we are supposed to get Friday we have everything done with the exception of 3 items which we have but have minor typos or the wrong address on. We will get those taken care of Wednesday and Thursday and should be good to go to fed ex out on Friday.

Then the wait.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Adoption Obsession

Well I will admit I have officially become obsessed with the adoption and everything going into it. Everything in my life revolves around it. Somehow I think I can turn everything into a discussion or a day dream about adoption. I finally admitted it to Sarah tonight and she said I could have told you that a long time ago. Some of you who know me will know how my obsessions work. I become stuck on something and usually don't give it up until it's over. That being said I think I will have to on this deal or it may cause my hair to either turn gray or fall out. Tonight I finally decided that once we complete our paperwork we no longer have any choice in the matter. It will totally be in God's hands. I get frustrated with myself beause if I would have pushed it we could have been done a month ago but then I remind myself that we have our child out there waiting for us and the timing is all God's.

With all that said Sarah felt this huge burden to pray for the birth mother of our child today so we request prayers for both the birth mother and our child out there. It's quite likely our child is born or very close to it so please keep them in your prayers. It's constantly on my mind where our child is and how he/she is doing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Beginning of the the Journey

This was supposed to be started a long time ago but I have a habit of putting stuff off but after today the realization hit that we better start this now or it might be over before we ever have a chance to start. For those of you who don't know this blog is started to capture our jouney to fulfill God's call on our life to adopt a child from Ethiopia. A little background on ourselves....My name is Adam Horton and I am a CPA employed at Associated Electric Cooperative in Springfield Missouri. I am married to a beautful wife Sarah Horton who is a cosmetologist at The Cutting Edge Hair Salon in Springfield Missouri. God has blessed us with an incredible daughter Leah Elizabeth Ann Horton (her initials are LEAH, this will only matter to those who are accountants who are commonly known by thier initials, think MAP, GVG, etc...) Late in December 2007 Sarah and I both felt a strong call by God to add to our family by way of adoption. We had absolutely no problems having Leah and have no reason to think we couldn't have more children biologically but looking at Leah and knowing the love we have for her I can't think of a child not getting that love. That is what ultimately called us to adoption. God put an incredible burden on our heart for orphans and we knew at that point what we had to do. Ethiopia was a hard call. From the beginning we both felt called to Ethiopia but almost tried to talk ourselves out of it. There are so many issues with Ethiopia only the beginning of them being the race factor. In the end God won out and we are 100% sure we are following his call.

We applied with Holt International Adoption Agency in January 2008 and have just completed our paperwork and hope to have a completed home study by the end of next week. After that point we will wait and wait and wait and wait. Actually the wait times are now 3-6 months for Ethiopia and the wait time for a boy is even shorter. We have requested either sex which ALMOST guarantees we will get a boy. It is wild to think that we could have a referral of a child in 3 months.

Our Homestudy visit was today. This morning we were thinking that we would have a home study completed by middle of May and sent off by June. Since this was our second visit our social worker pretty much as it finished and looks to give us a completed copy next Friday!!! Exciting and Scary!!! We are 99% complete with our Dossier paperwork and should be done when we receive our study on Friday. Then Friday afternoon it's off to our local secretary of state's office to get state certification and then off to Ethiopia. Please keep us in you prayers as we move forward with this journey. I will do my best to keep you guys up to date!