Saturday, May 31, 2008

Electrician I'm Not

I tried to play electrican this weekend but quickly realized that could be very deadly and very expensive if not done right. For some strange reason one breaker in our house has decided to quit working. Nothing unusal was going on and I went to flip a switch and nothing came on. After much reasearch on the internet and looking around I'm 99% sure I've got a bad breaker. (What happened before we had all the knowledge of the internet at our fingerprints.) Part of me really wanted to take the breaker box off and switch out breakers to see if that was it. As close as I came I decided to play it safe and call an electrican in. We'll see how it goes Monday. The one bad thing is I'll be out of town Monday so it will be up to Sarah and Leah to keep the electrical in line and have him get it done quickly and cheap! I'll get some sense of a moral victory if I at least properly diagnosed the problem. The part of me that gets stressed out about everything fears we've got a small short somewhere and the electrical will spend hours ($$$$) trying to diagnose the problem. I also fear our house could burn down but we'll pray it doesn't.

Small glitch in our I-600A filing. We got a notice this week saying they wanted the original signature on the home study. I quickly mailed it in. Part of me, a rather large part of me, wanted to highlight the instructions that say specifically that a photocopy will work unless specificially mentioned. I've read the instructions and I see nothing about an original signature on the home study. Since there is only one person in the office in KC that processes the forms I thought it might be in my best interest to not make her too upset yet.

Some families returned home from Ethiopia that adopted through Holt. These are the first families to travel for Holt and sounds like everything went off without a hitch. Hopefully it will go as well for us.

I'm predicing a referral on August 29th with leaving for travel on November 20th. This is purely a random guess with nothing to back it up. I'm competitive so if any one wants to start a pool and see who wins give your guess!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Relaxing Weekend

Hope everyone had a great Memorial day weekend and also hope everyone took a few minutes to remember all the troops that have fought in wars to protect our freedoms and the ones that are currently serving our country. We are so blessed to live in this wonderful country!

The family had a very relaxing weekend this weekend. We headed up to my parents house in Excelsior Springs after work on Friday and came back home this morning. We didn't have much of anything planned or anything we wanted to accomplish so it was nice to relax. The one thing we did get done was a crib purchased. For those of you that are thinking we are getting ahead of ourselves don't fear. We truly feel called to adopt a child from Ethiopia but if something were to happen where it fell through we truly feel that we will have another child sometime in our life. This way we are prepared. It is a two tone crib, which we had never seen before, so it will work with either gender. We also got a great deal on it so we were happy about that. I'm going to try and put a picture of it on here but I've not real skilled at that so forgive me if it doesn't work.

It was confirmed with Holt that they gave out six referrals last week so we are officially number 17. It was rumored to be seven but turned out to be only six. While we are #17 that doesn't necessarily give a real clear picture of where we are at. If five of the six were boys, which was the case last time then we are probably 4 or 5 for a boy. If it was balanced then we probably truly are #17. Holt also said everything they have planned for is around five referrals a month. We are probably four or five months from a referral but since this is a new program and we are a "pioneer" family this is all subject to change. This will be hard for some to believe but I have actually been very patient so far. It's probably helping that we are so far down the list and once we get to the top five or so it will be a different story. In looking at our schedule we have something almost every weekend from here until the middle of August. That should help with getting impatient. We are also working on our "list" and adding to it. Hopefully we'll get that completed before we travel.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Well today we were fingerprinted which is the last step before approval is issued from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. To show how much red tape there is in our government sometime Sarah and I had to take a seperate trip to Kansas City today to get fingerprinted by the Immigration office up there. It had to be done on a Wednesday between the hours of 8:00-3:15. So even though we are going up there to spend the weekend with my parents we still had to drive up there in a seperate trip. With $1.50 gas it's not as big of deal but driving home from church tonight I saw $3.69 gas at the QT in Ozark. Not cool. I think it's about time to take even more steps to curb our gas consumption, but that's another post for my new blog which is rolled out now. You can view my personal profile to find the link. Enjoy but don't get too offended:)

Back to adoption......we have no done everything we need to and are patiently waiting. It's not been too bad so far but it's only been 2 weeks. We were only able to confirm two referrals last week which means for sure we are 21 but there still could be the other five that were talked about. The assistant program director is currently in Ethiopia so we hope to get a lot of updates when she returns. Since this is a new program for Holt we are called "pioneer" families. Basically that means we are the test subjects and sometimes the timelines and that that they give us are totally flexible. We are really ok with that. We have every weekend from now until August booked with something. We shouldn't have a problem staying busy.

This will probably be the last adoption post until after Memorial day so you can take it easy and not check the blog for a while. We are close to 1,000 visits though. I should give something to the 1,000 visitor but I probably won't:) I will be blogging on my new blog so check it out!

Happy Holiday!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Caring for Orphans

This is a real life picture from an orphanage in China. It absolutely breaks our heart to think of all the children in the world without families to love them. Not everyone is called to adopt but we are all called to care for the orphans. If adoption is not for you think of other ways you can help. (If you need ideas ask). If you've thought about adoption but have questions or concerns gather information. Sarah and I had many of the same concerns about adoption that most people do but we knew that God had it for us to adopt and we know 100% that he has and will continue to remove all obstacles that get in our way.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Moving On Up

Word is out today that Holt has 7 referrals to hand out this week. We were #23 so this would put as at #16. While we are #16 overall we could in reality be much closer depending on the make up of the referrals. At one time they were extremely weighted towards girls which would put us up higher since we are open to either but it appears to have evened out so #16 is probably right around where we are. If they refer at this rate we should get a referral sometime in the July/August range and travel sometime in November/December. There are times when I think that would be wonderful for us to have some spare time but then there are also times where I get impatient and we want our kiddo home as soon as possible. Plus the international adoption front is so unstable right now they could just decide to close Ethiopia at any time and we would be left back at square one.

I was excited went I got home and saw we had a letter from the Department of Homeland Security United States Customs and Immigration Services. I was hoping it was our fingerprint appointment but all it was was a receipt for our application. I'm hoping that our letter comes seperate and that they weren't both supposed to come together. (I'm always thinking worse case scenario!) So far the government has been doing good and I hope to keep it that way. The customs offices are so picky and work at their own pace and they don't want to be bothered to the extreme that they don't give out phone numbers for local offices. I know it's hard to imagine our government being difficult to deal with:)

Not much else is going on. We are still tackling the to do list. It seems like the past couple of weeks and the upcoming month have been and are going to be extremely busy. Hopefully around the middle of June we can do a little resting and enjoy time as a family of three before we expand.

Thanks for reading. For some of you, and you'll know who you are, my computer arrived today! Political blog is in process and still set for May 19th release! Hold your breath and wait.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Waiting Update

Week number one of patiently waiting is about over. We've done good so far. We filed our I600A today which is the last peice of paperwork we have to complete before we travel to Ethiopia. The I600A is the paperwork we file with the US Customs and Immigration Services which basically is approval for our family to adopt a child. We have been approved by our agency and social worker but our wonderful government wants to have a say in it. We should get scheduled for our fingerprinting appointment in the next couple of weeks and after that we should have a short wait no more than a month to get our approval. After that we are still waiting for a referral.

We did get some updated information this week on the program and a more definite timeline. There have been very few referrals from our agency the past month and it turns out a computer glitch is the reason. Who would have thought it?? Apparently a nasty virus took over their computer system and they are still several days away from having it fixed. It's amazing that something like that could slow them down but technological resources aren't plentiful in Ethiopia.

They did officially adjust traveling times once you have a referral. The referral is where the agency sends us a packet of information regarding a child that meets our request. We will review the referral and choose to accept or reject the referral. Once we accept a referral our agency will start the court process in Ethiopia to make our adoption official. The entire court process will take approximately three months from when we accept a referral. Travel is an estimated one month after clearing court. So we will have at least four months from the time of referral until we travel. A little longer than initially thought but our agency is new in this country and still working out the kinks.

A few more tidbits....

1) Electricity isn't real dependable over in Ethiopia. They have a day without electricity every four days. It appears that it is even more sporatic now and that is causing some delays for people in the court system.

2) Our agency got their care center up and running this week. This should hopefully speed up the referral process and allow them to place some children with their forever families soon!

3) The orphanages over there are in desperate need of supplies. One example given is they use cloth diapers over there but don't have plastic pants for them so they tie plastic bags around the diapers. Truly heart breaking.

4) While our agency is new to Ethiopia they have been complimented regarding their paperwork for the court system. That's no surprise based on Holt's past history.

Sarah and I are traveling to her parents house for Mothers day weekend. We are looking forward to a break and will hopefully have some fun and rest over the weekend. Hope everyone has a great weekend and I will post next week.

Some of you have been asking and I will unleash my political blog on May 19th. That is purely a random date but some of you who know me will know I work much better under a deadline!


Monday, May 5, 2008

It's Official......

Well as of today we are officially waiting. Our Dossier packet made it to the Holt main office and they have reviewed it and told us everything looks great. We are offficially #23 on the list. Something we found out today that was a little surprising is the list is split evenly between boys and girls. This is not how it was early on and it looks like some people may have switched. We had planned on a boy and were under the impression we would probably get a boy and get a referral pretty quick but it looks like it might take a little longer and we now have an equal chance of getting a boy or a girl. We are truly open to either and are just excited to be waiting.

I know some of you who know me won't believe me but I really am much more calm now that we are waiting. Sarah and I have no timeline that we have to be done by. If you would have asked us at the beginning of the process when an ideal time to bring home our baby would be we would have picked June 1st of 2009. That being said as we started moving forward in the process things started all falling together. We are confident that we are ready whenever it's time to get our child. We'd love our child to be home for Christmas and I think it's very realistic to think we will have a child home by then. We could get one much sooner or even after that.

Please keep the Holt Ethiopia program in your prayers. Ethiopia is a new program for them and they are working out the kinks and we are kind of the test products. We are 100% sure of our decision to use Holt and would do it all over again. That being said there is some uncertainty and some glitches along the way. We figure that if God called us here he must have a plan and we just need to be along for the ride. It's amazing how good the ride is when God is in control.

As we are now in the waiting game the posts won't necessarily be exciting but we plan on posting regularly on various aspects of adoption and things that are going on with us.

From here though it's all waiting! (Maybe God will teach me a little about patience during this process???)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Home Study Complete!!!

Well we just received word that our home study is complete and has been reviewed by the home office and we are good to go. We are so excited. At this point we have done all we can do and it is all in God's hands for the timing. For those of you that know me please pray for patience. If I was to guesstimate where we are at I would guess a referral sometime around August/September and then travel in November/December. There have been a lot of people join the program in the past months so wait times are up a little. The director of the program just got back from a trip to Korea and Ethiopia so every one is hoping to get more details sometime in the near future as far as specific wait times. We are also open to either and I know the majority of people waiting have requested a girl so that could help our wait time. I really think it could be sooner than my guesstimate but I'm trying to not get my hopes up too much. I have a tendancy to get a little impatient but there is literally NOTHING we can do at this point to speed up or slow down the process. It's exciting to think there's a child out there that God has for us.

I'm hoping to send the packet off either tomorrow or Monday at the latest. Keep us in your prayers and we'll keep everyone updated on here as we go along!