Update

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It’s been a super slow month for referrals. BUT, just as I was preparing myself for our first month with no referrals I was surprised with the email indicating we moved one! One is not much but it is way better than zero.

Please pray BIG, that God would move mountains and get our child home soon. Specifically we are fervently praying to have a picture by Christmas or before.

Praying BIG

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Some of you may recall our wait chain that we made last September. We started out on “the list” at number 87.

Here is a picture of the chain from Sept. 2012
Today we received our new updated number……drum roll please!
That’s a drop of 15 on “the list”!!!!!!!  We have been praying for BIG movement and God answered!
Here is a picture of the links I pulled off our wait chain today…
And here is the chain now….
Prayer Requests:
Praise for all the children who now have a forever family.
Continue to pray BIG that we have a referral by or before Christmas (tomorrow is good for me)
That God will provide the finances for us to be fully funded. God has provided so far through prompting friends to give and guiding us in ways to save and plan. We still need to last 1/3 of the total adoption expenses. It’s a number that overwhelms me but I know is possible.
Pray for our families. 
Fundraising:
I posted this last time, but if you want to be a part of our adoption journey please consider sponsoring a piece of our puzzle to bring our child home.
If you have ideas or want to help plan a fundraiser with us please let us know. We are open to just about anything other than home party type sales, I know some of you have expressed dislike for those events.

Puzzle Funds

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For several months we have had some info in the side bar about our puzzle fundraiser and a few have asked for more details.

Here is the puzzle
We are asking that family and friends sponsor a piece of the puzzle for $20. Each donor will have their name written on the back of a puzzle piece. 
Once the puzzle is complete it will be hung in a double-sided frame in our child’s room. It will be a great way to show them all the many people who have prayed for them and help to bring them home! 
Our child will have lost everything when they come home to us, their biological families, culture, etc. As they grow older, we hope that the many names will bring some comfort that in their loss, they gained so much love and support from a new and larger family.
As always we are so very thankful to everyone who contributes to our adoption both financially and through prayer. We absolutely need both and would not have made it this far without you!
Big things are happening! We are so blessed, and I know you will be too, in this journey!

Wahoo!!!!!

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Got our monthly wait list number today and was in total shock! We moved 8 spaces to number

Now some of you may remember a couple months ago I was super bummed because I asked prayer specifically that we would drop into the 40’s the following month. Well, as I am learning, God’s timing is not my own and while it was not “when” I wanted, it was exactly what I wanted and I’m sure that while I don’t specifically know why I had to wait longer, there was a reason and it will all work out to the good!

Now for some even more exciting news, though we moved 8 spaces, 10 children were matched with their forever families!!! That’s 10 fewer orphans in the world….wahoo!!

6- Infants
1- child over age 6
1- sibling set ages 6 & 10
1- Special needs child

Our Specific Requests:
1) We have been so blessed by the donations and prayers from friends! We are still in fundraising mode and need quite a bit more to be fully funded. Please pray that we will be directed to fruitful ways to raise/save funds.

2) Please pray for peace over our hearts. Seems like everywhere I turn another person is welcoming their child home through either birth or adoption and while I’m ecstatic for them, I’m ready for my turn.

3) While the PAIR process does make the adoptions more efficient and safe, it did add A LOT of time on to the process. Please pray there are no further “hiccups” in the process.

4) Finally, please pray for the birth mother. I don’t know if our child is even conceived yet but she is going to have to make the hardest decision of her life. A decision that will give us the gift we have longed for, and a life for her child she could not provide. But more importantly, pray that in this process someone shares with her the love of Christ.

PAIR Letter

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So what is a PAIR letter? Fantastic question! I’m not totally sure yet but, at the moment with my limited knowledge I’m really nervous and scared about it.

So before this requirement, the process looked something like this.
-referral
– preliminary hearing (families do not travel for this)
-if you pass, a court date is set up three months later and you travel to the country 
-once you pass court they are legally yours by Ethiopian law
– US Embassy investigates orphan status and issues visa’s and passports
-Return to country 2-3 months later to bring them home.
The total process from referral to home averages 5-6 months.
Now with the PAIR letter, the process will be extended by 2-3 months. This letter must be in place BEFORE the preliminary hearing and is issued by US Immigration and it takes 8-12 weeks to prepare and get in place.
The purpose of this letter is actually really good. Although very rare, there were families who were clearing court but not embassy so their child never got to come home. This letter states that the child meets the requirement of orphan status and should make the embassy process smoother.
I guess I am happy that the process is a little more efficient, I just wish that it didn’t mean taking longer to get them home.
Our current number on the wait list is 56! 

Prayer Requests:
-Referrals will boom over the next few months 
-Peace over our waiting and eager hearts, but not patience 😉
-We are considering the possibility of opening our parameters to siblings but that will require LOTS more savings and fundraising which we can’t do without support of family and friends. I’m positive if this is the path we should take it will be made abundantly clear and our needs will be met but, we need you all to cover this in prayer.

Vaccinations

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We got our vaccinations…..so can we get a referral now please? 🙂

We didn’t technically need to get our vaccinations until closer to when we actually need to leave for Ethiopia. But, our current FSA account will run out at the end of May and we had just enough in there to go ahead and get them.

So we made an appointment at our local travel clinic, looked at current outbreaks in regions we expect to travel, and checked with the CDC and decided which vaccines we were going to get and which ones to skip.

Warren and I both opted for the pill form of the Typhoid vaccine as it lasts longer than the injection, was cheaper, and frankly I HATE needles. We will take that course of meds every other day for the next week. This course of meds will the most likely to have side effects such as nausea, fever, and overall blah feelings.

We also got a prescription for malaria pills that we start taking before we leave through a week after our return.  I need to check how long that rx is good before it has to be filled but we can always call if it expires before our trip (let’s all pray that doesn’t need to happen).

Those were the “easy” vaccinations, next we had to get shots for a few other diseases. There were three biggies that they recommended, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever and Meningitis. I did not need the Meningitis because I had it prior to college. Warren’s shot total – 3, Mine – 2
Finally we were given a rx for Cipro, an antibiotic. We can take it with us for the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea or other issues due to parasites and take as needed.  
I’m not a fan of vaccines, there are ones I feel the risk really outweigh the benefits. But when traveling to a third world country and knowing I will travel outside of the developed cities and capital, I felt this was one of those times when the risk of the vaccine was worth it. 
As always, please pray for our child. That they will be cared for and loved and will come home to us soon. Pray for us in this wait. At times it’s incredibly difficult to wait for what you know is going to be good. Finally, we still need the last 1/3 of the total adoption expenses. God has been so good to us and has provided every step of the way and I know that He will continue. 

One Year

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So one year ago on Friday (18th), we began this life changing journey called adoption. It was a year ago that we answered our call to Ethiopia on our quest to care for orphans and “defend the fatherless”

We’ve come along way on our journey emotionally and spiritually. If asked a year ago I would have said we hope to have our wee one home by now, but obviously that was not the way it was suppose to work.

If asked today I would tell you we are praying big to simply have a picture of their sweet face by Christmas. But, obviously we would be over the moon if it were sooner!

Some days the wait is a hard pill to swallow! My whole life I’ve never wanted anything more than to be a Mama. Warren and I have tried to grow our family since the day we said “I Do” and sometimes it’s really hard not to throw a pity party and ask “why me”?

So in our confidence that our adoption will continue moving at at least a steady pace, we got our vaccinations today! This event will receive it’s own blog post so watch for it soon!
In the meantime, please continue to pray for our child, for us, and for our fundraising endeavors.

Monthly Update

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Referrals have been super slow lately and we have been feeling really discouraged. But, just as we were losing faith and had resigned ourselves to move *maybe* one space this month we moved 3!!!

We are officially

I know that this seems like we are still so far away but seeing movement AND dropping into the 50’s after being in the 60’s for so long feels great!
How to specifically pray for us:
1) That next month there will be 9 (or more) referrals. I could use another emotional win of dropping into the 40’s
2) We are trying to plan some additional fundraisers, pray that we will be directed toward ones that will help to raise needed funds AND raise awareness to the needs of orphans around the world
3) That we don’t become so engrossed in the details of the adoption that we forget to make our marriage the top priority

Holidays

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So we’ve been trying to keep up with the happenings, holidays and whatnot’s going on in Ethiopia. Since a noticeable percentage of the country identify as Christian, a lot of the holidays are the same. The problem is that they don’t observe them on the same day as the U.S.

Ethiopia is on a 13 month calendar rather than a 12. When you are only thinking about events one year at a time it’s not too difficult to just think a month out of sync. When you think of history and even recent years, it’s gets a little more complicated. But, that’s a story for another day. 🙂

The next upcoming holiday in Ethiopia is Good Friday which will be observed there Friday, May 3, 2013. Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate Easter again this year?

Here’s a link to the public holidays celebrated in Ethiopia
Public Holidays

Manager Special

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Ok, so anyone who has been around me for more than about 2 minutes knows I’ve gone completely baby crazy!!!!

Every time I make a trip to any store that has a baby section I just have to go look…and usually buy a small something 😉 So for example over the last few months I have bought things like pacifiers, bibs, a couple cloth diapers, cute blanket, crib sheet. All just small things on their own but really add up when bought all at once.

We have been researching carriers for a few weeks now as it was highly advised by our case worker, other adoptive parents, and adoption resources that we should not use a stroller for our baby for a while when they get home and that using a carrier helps them feel more secure and therefore attach//bond better.

Tonight Warren and I made a quick run to Kroger for a few groceries and in the front of the store they had a rack of Manager Special items. They had carriers on sale for $10!!! This is a carrier we had looked at online, in Wal-Mart and even a baby store while shopping for a friend and it was priced between $25-30. So we figured that for $10 it wouldn’t hurt anything to go ahead and get it.

We also bought one extra….with all the baby showers happening someone is getting a carrier 😉