Monday, April 27, 2009


We just received a call that our dossier is at HH!! Yea! That was so fast! Our little guy has received the remaining medical tests and it all looks great! With a little prayer (maybe a lot) and our confidence in AGCI, everything is falling into place.

As this school year wraps up, we can distract ourselves with Prom plans and our son finishing his freshman year at college! Life still goes on. Soon, we will all be together...

We are now focusing our attention on learning Amharic phrases, deciding if we should add an American name to his beautiful Ethiopian name, planning for summer activities to help him make buddies and practicing sleepless nights...uh, just in case.

Like my hubby says, it keeps life interesting when you veer off the path of least resistance. We are so looking forward to making this trip to Ethiopia!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another Step Towards Bringing Our Boy Home!

I am optimistic that things are getting back on track. Our dossier was back from D.C. in less than a week and forwarded to Ethiopia! It is being closely tracked by several people to make sure it arrives. In the meantime, we hope the translation will be done shortly and maybe we can be submitted for a court date soon? I know it's a rush to get approved before the August 4th court closure date in Ethiopia, but I don't see why it wouldn't happen? Today, we received our USCIS approval letter. That's the final piece of paperwork, on our end, to be completed. (For my friends and family reading this, that is the immigration letter that allows us to obtain a visa to bring our boy home!)

The next thing is receiving a court date and passing. Then, we would travel to pick him up! I am praying all things keep moving along, and he is settling in nicely at HH. I am doing lots of reading and preparing myself for having a young child in the home again. I think we are all a little nervous and excited. I hope he will be happy here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Eyes Have Been Opened

This adoption process has opened my eyes to a whole new world! Before September of last year, I thought people only adopted from Russia, Guatemala, China and Korea. I had never really known anything about Ethiopia. Being an American born Puerto Rican/Japanese and having spent my childhood from one side of the world to the next,I thought I was pretty exposed to different cultures. This journey has opened up my world!

Since September'08, I knew nothing of Ethiopia, its culture, Africa, adoption and on and on...Almost every time my husband flies, he finds himself meeting people who relate to our journey in some way. A few weeks ago, he ran into an old friend who just returned from Uganda with two adopted babies. His babies had been left on the road, dying of malaria. He and his wife brought them to Minnesota!

Next, my husband meets my new friend Mona, who moved from Addis over 6 years ago and who will be my saving grace in our transition of our little boy. She tells me she lives in an entire neighborhood of Ethiopian people (less than 10 minutes away)and I have already had lunch with her in her neighborhood restaurant! Yes, I have eaten injera and wat. I love ethnic food of all kinds. Wasn't too crazy about the injera (wet, spongy, bread), but the wat we had (ours was lamb) was awesome! The people were so nice, and I was reminded that Ethiopians shake hands by touching the back of their closed hands together. I wonder if that is because they eat with their hands? I thought it was cute that before we started to eat, Mona said "Shall we wash?" Now, I know why.

Today, my husband flies with a beautiful Ethiopian flight attendant from Addis Ababa! He found out she is a Wisconsin grad and Badger fan, and like every Wisconsin Alumni, forever dreams to do it all over again. Our son is just now building some of those memories...ones I may never want to know about...

We have made it our goal to each learn 5 Amharic phrases and teach them to each other. This way we will each know at least 15 phrases, which is better than none. Mona volunteered to be our go-between and teach me to make Ethiopian food. Otherwise, she says she will have us to dinner! What a blessing.

I have always thought that parenting was an adventure, but this is going to be a ride!

Good News Monday!

I feel like I am taking baby steps in this process, but it's progression nonetheless! I just received a call from our caseworker. Our little boy has finally moved in to HH! She says he is very excited to be there and is settling in! Maybe this isn't all that exciting for some, but for me, it means that he is under the watchful care of the staff at HH and to anyone who knows of this place, that is a blessed thing.

I am so grateful that the staff at AGCI has been so helpful in getting us back on track as quickly as possible. We are in great hands!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dossier On the Move!

Our dossier arrived this morning at AGCI and was expedited to D.C. for authentication. This is going to be interesting. I always tell people that if they ever want to adopt, I will show them how to cut through the paperwork in a timely fashion. Now, I know it can be re-done in a matter of days! It's a good thing I ordered extras for all official documents!

There is some news on the HH looks like they will try to get him to the home by the beginning of next week. It's something...and for me, it's everything! Who said adoption is not for the faint of heart? You're not kidding!

I think I need some pictures on this blog...I will have to solicit some help from my computer-savvy's a generational thing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dossier off! Again...

I just mailed our new dossier today to replace the stolen one. If you have the choice, you may want to ask your HS person if you can leave off SS#'s in your HomeStudy. That's not a good thing to have floating around. I hope we can get back on track for a court date. I would assume we are looking at another 2-4 weeks of authentication and the final translation before we can be submitted for dates. Wow, that's sad for me. I read on someone's blog that the courts may be adding a third judge. If that's true, that is a blessing.

Everyone is getting news about their children from our caseworker's visit and it all sounds so exciting! It would be a relief and my heart would swell knowing that a little one across the world knows about us and is getting excited to start a new life! Bless all those children and their new families.

We still wait to hear anything on our little boy. It has actually been three months and no update. It makes me a little nervous when I think about it like that. I would be content if he were in the care of HH, but his mommy has obviously taken great care of him so far. Our situation is definitely unusual, I think. I trust in AGCI and hope to get some news real soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday...

Okay, so we hit the ground running alright! Now, we are just waiting for our physicians to sign off on the medicals and our city clearance forms and we are ready to overnight the paperwork! Our only concern is that it still needs to go back to D.C. then to Ethiopia for translation (which could mean another month out!). Hopefully, it will make it to HH without interference. This is crazy, but we are getting enough sympathy from those signing forms for us, that they are doing their best to get things done.

Sadly, yesterday was our little guy's birthday...hope his day was better than ours...Happy Birthday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tomorrow is Another Day..

Today's news was not great. It started out on a positive note. A while ago, my husband met a darling Ethiopian girl working at the airport. She has been trying to bring her nieces and mother to America, but is unable to bring all of them together. She is afraid the children will be left behind. Today, I offered to go with her to immigration and see if I can help her understand how it all works. As usual, we received standard answers that didn't help.

Next, my husband called with an unfortunate incident. We have been so excited for news from our caseworker about her trip to Ethiopia and to see if our boy has yet arrived at HH. Apparently, our entire dossier was stolen and we have to very quickly start over! I am trying to be understanding and calm. As the day wears on, I am beginning to stress about what it all means as far as court dates, travel, etc. I was sorta expecting a court date, to be honest.

Next, my dear friend lost her father and I was pulled over by a state trooper for speeding! It was a full day, but on a high note...our son is home from college for Easter and we are just going to enjoy it.

I will have to hit the road running early Good Friday...lots of papers to notarize and forms to drop off! Tomorrow is another day...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We continue to wait...

So it has been over a month since we accepted the referral. To date, we have no knowledge as to whether our little guy is at HH or not. Our caseworker made a trip to Ethiopia last week and returned to work yesterday. I'm pretty sure we are not the only ones holding our breath for her to call and give us updates. I hate to bug her...but the anticipation is killing me! Our friends admit they are afraid to ask how things are going because they don't want me to get frustrated with the reminder that we sit in limbo.

We also wait for news about Homeland Security. Our application went in mid January, and so we wait for that approval...looking for a letter...something.

We sent a package and photo album to our little guy. Hopefully, our caseworker took it with her. It will be his birthday in 2 days and we sent him a very cool Spiderman transformer type-thingy...a type of toy I haven't seen in our home for a good 10 years!

Grandpa (my dad) has been practicing some online Amharic and learning about Ethiopia. Isn't that cute? It took a while for them to accept this adoption idea, but I think they are getting pretty excited now! He says he will be the best grandpa he can be to his new grandson. So cute!