Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I thought about naming this post "The Blue-Winged Goose has Landed" (appearantly this is a bird common in Ethiopia, according to my google search), but I was afraid the excitement might get lost in translation. Our Dossier arrived in Ethiopia on Wednesday! It will now be translated and will remain there until we receive a referral for a child. We will soon have a family coordinator who is our contact person in Ethiopia!
To celebrate the fact that months of paperwork was out of our house and our hands, we went to The Blue Nile Ethiopian Cafe in Kansas City. We had such a great time experiencing a small taste of Ethiopian culture with some of our friends. It was also neat to talk a little bit with the owner of the cafe, who is from Addis. We will definitely be going back there. If you have not tried Ethiopian food, we highly recommend it! (Be prepared to eat WITHOUT utinsels!)
Now that everything has arrived in Ethiopia, we get to WAIT. Let the countdown begin...or should I say count UP...since we really don't have a "due date." Because of Thanksgiving, our Dossier was not able to be mailed to Ethiopia until 12/6/13. Our agency has been gracious enough to count our official start date as 11/29/13 though. (We sort of got to cut in line a tiny bit!) This is the date that we have started counting up from.
We have now been officially waiting for 17 days to be matched with a little boy between 0 and 3 years old. The estimated wait time that we have received from our agency is around 24-30 months. It seems like such a long time to wait to meet our son, but the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. Lately, the weeks seem to be passing like days. (So in that case, it's only an estimated 130 "days" to wait- I like the sound of that much better.) We know that God could choose to bring him home sooner (or even later) than this estimated time frame though, and we trust that His timing is perfect.
While we're waiting, we're continuing to pray.
We are praying for our son. Most likely, he has already been born, and he is living somewhere in the country of Ethiopia. We pray that he is being loved and cared for, despite any tragic circumstances that will ultimately bring him to us. Marcus and I are praying for the family that might have a difficult decision to make in regards to his life, and we are thankful for them. We are praying for our son's health and safety.
We are also praying for the country of Ethiopia. We know that when dealing with governments, especially foreign governments, nothing is ever guaranteed. We are praying that the government remains stable there and that the adoption partnership between Ethiopia and the US continues to remain in good standing. Marcus and I hope and pray that the new adoption requirement (the PAIR Process) leads to more ethical adoptions in Ethiopia.
For now, we wait...and we're really excited about it.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Isn't this the most beautiful stack of papers you have ever seen!?
After months and months of paperwork and unofficial waiting, we can finally say that we are ALMOST on that real waiting list! I know, it seems anticlimactic, right? But today we reached an important step in our process!
Today we carefully followed the 50 step (that's only a tiny exaggeration), partially bolded, multi-bulleted, sometimes italics and underlined, outline to ensure that we got our dossier in the correct order with the correct items bundled together. Today we carefully made 2 copies of all 40 official documents that have taken us almost 6 months to compile. Today we carefully wrote a check that drained our accounts for the 3rd time this year as we continued to remember God's gracious provision throughout this entire process. Today we prayed over a stack of papers that represent so much more to us. It may have taken us a little longer than expected to get to this point (due to the government shutdown and various other circumstances), but we know that each setback and delay is part of God's perfect timing. Today, we cannot contain our excitement!
Everything is now packaged up and ready to be mailed to McLean, Virginia tomorrow! Once it arrives there, it will be checked and rechecked by our agency for accuracy (as if my OCD tendencies haven't forced me to check it enough already)! It will then be taken to the State Department and Ethiopian Embassy for additional authentication. (Yep, all of our stuff will be EXTRA authentic since original copies and notarizations are not quite enough!)
Then...drumroll please...within 1 to 3 weeks, it will finally venture across the sea to Ethiopia! Once it is processed in Addis, we will be officially waiting! (Cue girly squeal and giggles.) Little by little, our wait will actually begin getting us somewhere! We've never been so excited to wait in our entire lives. It's like we are finally tall enough to ride the biggest, baddest roller coaster, and now all we have to do is wait in line...for many, many, many months!
Stay tuned: the next update will mean that our wait is OFFICIAL!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Ethiopia still follows the Orthodox Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month, Pagume, of five or six days (depending on whether or not it is a leap year.) The Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind our calendar, so September 11, 2013 is Meskerem 1, 2006 in Ethiopia.
History of the Ethiopian New Year:
When Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, returned to Ethiopia after her famous visit to King Solomon (1 Kings 10), her chiefs welcomed her forward by giving her "enku" or jewels. Enkutatash which means "gift of jewels"' has been celebrated ever since during spring in Ethiopia. Enkutatash is an important festival in the lives of Ethiopians. After three months of heavy rains the sun comes out creating a beautiful, clear, fresh atmosphere. The fields turn to gold as yellow daisies burst into bloom. Meskerem is seen as a month of transition from the old year to the new. It is a time to express hopes and dreams for the future.
Marcus and I decided to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year last night. Our hearts are currently in Ethiopia, so we both feel a little bit Ethiopian. Because Enkutatash is important to Ethiopian culture, we want it to be important to our family too. As Marcus and I expressed our hopes and dreams for the future, we smiled, laughed, cried, and prayed over bringing our son home. We are looking forward to celebrating this day with him someday.
In honor of Enkutatash, my sweet husband brightened my day with yellow daisies. (All he could find were Gerber Daisies, but those are my favorite anyway!) Traditionally yellow daisies (or drawings of them) are given by children to friends, family, and neighbors in exchange for money or bread. I didn't give Marcus money...but we did try our hand at making some Ethiopian bread. I was planning on making Defo Dabo, which is traditionally eaten and shared during the New Year. As I was looking up recipes though, Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian Spiced Honey Bread) sounded so delicious that I had to try it instead! It is also a traditional bread enjoyed in Ethiopia that makes use of the country's abundant supply of honey. We enjoyed it last night with some hot tea, which was actually from Peru...maybe next year we will get some Ethiopian coffee! It was lovely. I definitely reccomend this recipe!
As we look to the "new year," we continue to pray for our son and this process. Our paperwork will arrive in Ethiopia during this new year, and we hope and pray that we are matched and processed quickly. Until then, our hearts will remain in Ethiopia. Happy New Year!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
God has shown us our lack of control over and over again throughout our "paper chasing" process. Adoption paperwork is hard to complete and compile anyway, but we always seemed to find a way to make it just a little bit harder. I smile now as I write this, but I can assure you that there were times that I did not feel like smiling! Between forms being lost in the mail, accounting errors on taxes, police reports ran on the wrong Kayla Mackey, and having to have several forms re-notarized (side note: I'm thoroughly convinced that almost every notary's commission expires in the fall of 2013...which is a problem when your agency requires the notary to be good through the time your paperwork arrives in Ethiopia!), God has shown us that we have to rely on Him and his timing. He repeatedly worked it all out for us in His own time, no matter how many tears I cried or moments I wanted to pull my hair out. We know that God's timing is perfect, and we cannot wait to see when He decides to bring our little boy home.
It has been amazing to see God's hand throughout our journey so far. We were praying crazy prayers about finances and houses, and God has provided over and over again. Thank you to everyone who has allowed God to work through you during this process. We will continue to pray big, crazy prayers about finances, a quick match, and a speedy trip to bring our son home. Will you pray with us as we wait?
P.S. We love seeing everyone in their t-shirts! It makes our hearts happy.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Shirts have finally arrived! Our living room has now been turned into a packaging and distribution center. It is amazing to see so many stacks of shirts, representing the support of people all over the U.S. who are waiting with us as we work to bring our son home. We do not take it lightly. Thank you!
We are so excited to get these shirts to you as soon as possible! We will be shipping orders this week so start checking the mail next week!
For those of you who chose to pick up your order, your shirts will be available at Antioch Bible Baptist Church on Wednesday evening and on Sunday morning this week. If you need to pick up your shirt at another time, send us a message and we will work it out.
I will also be dropping orders off at Oakhill Day School this week for those that ordered from there.
Thank you again for the amazing turn out during this fundraiser. The funding is now in place for our next installment in the adoption process. God is good.
It feels unbelievable to say that all of the paperwork for our adoption is now complete! Our move into our new house also went very well. We will be working diligently this week to get everything organized and prepared for our safety inspection. Then we will be able to submit our last immigration papers, be fingerprinted, and get our dossier sent off to Ethiopia!
Friday, May 31, 2013
Our t-shirt fundraiser is OVER! WooHoo!
(Secretly, I know that you are jumping for joy because you were tired of seeing that silly link posted every hour of every day! Don't worry, I'm glad too. Now I can go back to posting about important things like what I ate for dinner and other clever things that come to mind! - kidding, of course!)
Marcus and I want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our fundraiser. Seriously, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support we saw through this event. Whether you ordered, shared our fundraiser, or prayed for our fundraiser/adoption process - THANK YOU! We reached 68% (two-thirds!) of this fundraising goal, which is amazing! Like we said before, the stories, the encouragement, and the prayers we have received mean so much to us as well.
After 30 long days, final t-shirt numbers are going to the printers today. We are hopeful that we will be able to ship and distribute orders within a couple of weeks! We hope that seeing the shirt hanging in your closet or folded in your drawer will remind you to pray for a heart in Ethiopia that will find its home with us someday. It is our hope that as you throw the shirt into the washing machine or pull it from the dryer, it remind you to pray that our son could come home as soon as possible. We hope that wearing the shirt will spark conversations with others about adoption and how we are all adopted as sons and daughters in Christ.
So, what are our next steps in this process?
We are moving today and tomorrow, which is another answer to prayer!
We are still hopeful that everything will be sent off to Ethiopia by August. All of the paperwork on our end is now finished, we are just waiting on documents to be returned to us. (ex: my renewed passport, immigration forms, background checks, etc.) A home inspection will also need to be completed at our new house. Oh, and we also get to have a photo shoot sometime soon so we can scrapbook photos to send with our paperwork!
If everything continues to go this smoothly, the estimated time frame for having our son home is between August 2015 and February 2016. Stay tuned and stay in prayer.