Friday, December 20, 2013

Lucky Number

Something about our agency that suits us well is the fact that we get to know our "place in line" during the wait time.  Once our paperwork was all authenticated in Washington D.C. at the Dept. of State and the Ethiopian Embassy, it was mailed back to our agency. It was then that we were officially a waiting family and placed on the wait list.  It was an exciting day that we found out we are lucky number......68! :)

We can watch the number decline as referrals come in for families before us. We get monthly updates on the first business day of the month from our agency.  From what we've seen so far, the referrals in a month vary widely. For example, October had 13 (which was abnormally large from what we hear) and November had none.  So far in groups we're a part of through our agency we hear 'chatter' and December sounds like it's been quiet as well.

So, we are just celebrating our number 68 this Christmas and hope you have a wonderful holiday as well. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Now that we've shared some on how we got here, we'll fill you in on where we are currently in the process. If you notice on the web version, on the right side there is a timeline of major steps accomplished in the process so far. You can see we started this way back in March and took our time on our home study over the summer due to the fact that Asher was still a little squirt. (well, to be honest and a bit of a handful as a baby!) A document was required after completing our home study from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that took some time to receive.
Happy Birthday to me--we sent our USCIS paperwork out

After that got processed, we received a fingerprinting appointment....

Disappointing no black fingers to show for it, but freshly fingerprinted here.

Then, we wrapped up our dossier once our USCIS document was received. A dossier is all the required documents that will be sent to Ethiopia along with our home study which is essentially everything about us, our family, history and current life. Consider adoption like a super extended pregnancy and this paperwork was my baby for a couple of months. So, here you have my 'pregnancy' shot for this one. :)

Our dossier: proof of our entire life on paper
On November 7, our dossier left our hands and was mailed. When the FedEx guy took the envelope Harlyn asked "Is he getting our baby?" :) Obviously the concept of time and what is really going on isn't there yet, but we'll work on it. At least she was ready with open arms right then!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Intro and FAQs

Let's start with some frequently asked questions....

Why did you choose to adopt?
Before Troy and I even met, there was a desire to adopt in each of us.

I had the privilege to travel to South Africa as a high school freshman on a mission trip and fell in love with Africa. Our group got to spend some time at an orphanage with many toddlers and it was torture to leave them there. I really wanted to take some of those precious little ones home with me!
These are the faces that made me want to adopt about 12 years ago! Can you blame me?
Troy felt the first desire to adopt in college when he got to know some friends from Africa.

In the summer of 2011, we together, felt the Holy Spirit pushing us toward adoption as an option for expanding our family.  Some may call it coincidence, but we call it the Lord's leading. A number of 'freak' (or as we think, quite intentional) things occurred that made us start to seriously consider it and get excited about it. At the time our oldest was just a baby so we didn't pursue it heavily then.  We did go to some informational meetings at a local agency and decided to start to pray on when the right timing would be. Shortly after we found out that Avery number 2 was on his way! :) We then knew we would pursue it after he was born and a few months old. As Christians, we believe it is our duty to care for orphans and we pray we can be the parents/family one of them needs.

We also are following in my sibling's footsteps who paved the way for us by adopting our 3 year old nephew, Tate, from China in April 2012.

Where are you adopting from?
We are adopting internationally from Ethiopia.  Many have asked or thought, why not a domestic adoption and help orphans here in the States?  The need here is not for adoptive families of infants--there are more of them than there are babies.  Overseas, however, there are children waiting for families.

Why Ethiopia and not another country?
We knew right away Africa was the continent we'd adopt from because of my trip there and Troy's good friends who were from Rwanda and Sudan. Narrowing it down to Ethiopia was pretty easy because of the countries that are actually open for adoption and what we qualified for (marital status, how many kids we already had...etc.) In the end we were very confident in Ethiopia because of the number of friends/acquaintances that we knew adopted/are adopting from there and the establishment of the program.

Do you know who your child is?
No, not yet and we won't for a long time. Our estimated wait time until referral is around 12-18 months.  International adoptions can change at any time, so that may not be the time at all, we don't know! A referral is the profile of a child that we can accept to adopt.

Are you adopting a girl or boy? Can you choose? How old will they be?
Yes, we can request a certain gender but we chose not to. We have requested a child, male or female, 0-12 months of age at the time of referral. There will unfortunately be probably a few months from the time of referral and when the baby actually comes home with us.

Do you need to travel to Ethiopia?
Yes, we do, twice! It is required to make 2 trips to Ethiopia because of a court appearance we must make.  We will meet our baby on our first trip but will have to wait for the necessary process to complete before we take him/her home on our second trip. (this time will be challenging, for sure!)

How much does it cost?
Not enough considering how valuable this child is to us and to God.
If you're seriously interested in adoption, we're happy to share with you some of the costs you can expect--just ask us in private sometime.

What agency are you going through?
Adoption Associates, Inc.