Monday, March 31, 2008

A bunch of blah blah blah

Well, it's been ten days since I've written anything down. Ten uneventful days...oh, except that we received a letter from the USCIS letting us know they got our I600a form. Yea! We are officially in a government file!
Today was really crazy. Our son had a lot of homework and I couldn't get anything to print that he had typed. Our dog was acting strange (ok, when does he not?) and my daughter was a twelve year old. Our entire living/dining room carpet is ripped up and we have furniture everywhere throughout the rest of the house. We're installing laminate flooring and the dru part of drubek is not home long enough to finish the job in one weekend. We quickly realized our hot water heater had been leaking and was damaging a section of the floor. Between the two of us, we spent the majority of the day fixing the leak. I made several trips to the local hardware store while dear hubby was home fixing! To top it off, today was also the day that we had to put our potbelly piggy down. It was her time to go. She has been ill for a few months and she was old!!! I came to terms with this several weeks ago, but somehow, when it actually happens, it's a lot of sadness.
I thought to, could I handle a day like today with four children? Then, another thought quickly took over and I realized how few and far between these sort of days are. Whew.

I wanted to add that we saw an amazing movie last night. It's called "The Ultimate Gift". I highly recommend it for the entire family.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Home from Hawaii

We're baaaaack! We got home late last night from nine AMAZING days in Kauai and Kona. When I have more time, I plan to list some fun places to go, eat, see, etc...if anyone would like to plan a similar trip to these beautiful islands!

But, since our blog is about our adoption, I should stick with the agenda! =)

It's late so I'll make it short tonight. We got our back mail delivered today and lo and behold!!! We received not only my certified birth certificates (from Montana) but our passports as well. These all arrived within a week of us applying for them. We were told the wait was at least four weeks! I keep pinching myself. Other adoptive parents have told us that we'll hit a "brick wall" and we'll get discouraged at some point...but for now, I can't even imagine that happening! Each little step has made me rejoice. I hope that even during the bumps along the way, we'll keep in mind that everything happens for a reason. And maybe, we'll be able to share each discouraging adventure with someone else who may be at that "brick wall".

Happy Easter Weekend!
Love, Drubek

Monday, March 10, 2008

First Adoption study meeting!

It’s 4:32pm and our social worker will be here ANY MOMENT.
The house is tidied up and we put in some new flowers outside so it looks like spring is really here. I think we’re ready for the unknowns of the dreaded homestudy! =}
Andrew picked up the kids after school so I could finish vacuuming and setting out a few snacks. I opted for fruit and little individual bottles of water in an ice tub. I’m so ready for summer and strawberries and grapes looked delicious! I can barely keep the kids out of it until Mike gets here!

Update...It is now past 9pm and the home/adoption study went really well. Our social worker, Mike, is a really laid back guy. His heart is genuine and caring. We all instantly liked him. Yes, we did what all new adoptive parents do before a homestudy...cleaned, cleaned, cleaned! =) We planted a few needed flowers (but for the record, we would have done that anyway since so many are blooming right now!) I don't remember last when I dusted on a Monday! =D

Oh, I want to mention that we asked Mike some questions about filing our I-600A form. On line #16, he said to write the USCIS Yakima office (for Washington State residents) and then also put on the American Embassy or Consulate line Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa. I hope this helps for anyone filling this form out. I noticed several entries on the yahoo group that were wondering about this same thing.

Thank you to everyone who is keeping up with this blog. It's fun and therapeutic to blog. I highly recommend it! No matter what you're going through in your life, journaling is a healthy way to get (or keep) your sanity!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Summary of Expenses

As we searched for the right agency for our family, the questions we kept having over and over were "How much does all this cost?", "When do we pay?", and "Do we have to have all the money up front?"...There were never any clear answers. And, for the record, EVERY ADOPTION (as with biological births) IS DIFFERENT! **
So, we asked a lot of questions and at least got enough of them answered to know that we were ready to go for it.
As we go through this process, we feel it is very important to document expenses and timeframes (dates of service or dates we paid for something adoption/paperwork related) for other potential adoptive parents. If you are interested in learning more about these costs, please email us and we'd be happy to share with you!

We are very private about our other personal financial details, but feel this is an important part of the adoption experience. Hopefully this information can help even just one family in their own journey to bring their children home.

**Also, we want to add that each agency fee, certified document and/or other service will be unique and different. This is only an example of our financial experience.


Friday, March 7, 2008


Wow and incredible! I took this afternoon to get our certified marriage licenses and Andrew's certified birth certificates. I got four of each. Hope this is enough =).
I MUST say...except for getting a gordita instead of a burrito supreme, my day has been WONDERFUL.
The line at the courthouse was SHORT and I had my papers in no time flat. The line for the Health dept. to get Andrew's birth cert. was longer and not as efficient, but it took less than 2o minutes. I now only need to get my birth certificate from Ravalli County, MT. That'll cost about $12. I am thrilled. I was nervous that I'd spin my wheels awhile and then get told that the documents would have to come in the mail. Thank God for the computer age!

Oh, I forgot to mention another highlight from today...I found parking five spaces from the courthouse, meter already paid and the spot fit my big ol' Ford F350 just perfect!
I loved today!


And the momentum builds...

I woke up early (our dog, Hugo, wasn't helping by flicking his tail against the side of the bed while staring at me in great big huge puppy dog eyes saying "Let me out, pleasssssse?"). I can't help thinking about God's timing. I relayed this story to my good friend last night...everything happens for a reason and in God's time. It's a difficult thing to remember sometimes but it gives me comfort.

For instance, we are about to go on vacation and figured we'd start our adoption study (usually called a homestudy but I don't like that word as much =) when we returned...hopeful that the social worker, Mike, would be able to fit us into his schedule. I sent him an email requesting more information around 8pm...lo and behold, within the hour, Mike called back! It was a good conversation. He asked if Monday at 4pm would be a good time to have our very first adoption study meeting here at our house. WOW. So soon!!! I also want to mention that not only is Mike a very likeable guy but his fee's are reasonable and well below the other agency's fees I've heard about.

I thought back several months ago and realized how even before we made this adoption decision, God was working to pave the way. Andrew usually flies out on Mondays...this week he will not since we are going on vacation on Wednesday. He could easily have said he was working a few days and then would meet the rest of us in San Francisco (we've done this sort of thing in the past). I also usually work on Mondays, even if it's only three hours...I've planned to take it off for months. This way I have time to straighten up the house and devote time to adoption stuff where I may not have otherwise. None of this could have happened on a regular Monday. Mondays typically are very "filled up" days in the drubek home. Now, I don't know if anyone reading this can follow the significance of these events...but I don't believe there are any coincidences. In the words of a great Newsboys song "It's just a spirit thing!"


Thursday, March 6, 2008

They got it!

We just got an email from Kari at Dove...our application has arrived and it is being reviewed, references are being requested and overall, we are ***officially*** starting adoption with a real live agency! Wahoooooo
I want to go out and buy something! =)


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Led To Ethiopia

As I've stated before, we truly felt spiritually led to persue our adoption from Africa. A good friend of ours wrote a book on his experiences while working in Mozambique. After we both read the book, we could picture those precious little children clearly in our minds. Our hearts ached for the children described in this book and knew that this was another little nudge from above. Through our process so far, we've definetly experienced God's divine hand. Doors have been closed and others have opened.
Early on in our country search, we thought the Marshall Islands adoptions would be perfect for us. My niece is from the Micronesian Islands and with ties to these communities it would be a natural choice for us to adopt through there.
But, this door quickly closed. It just didn't feel right. The agency was wonderful and the director was attentive. But we were meant to find our children somewhere else.

I mentioned earlier that Andrew is very detailed with our finances. He is not one to buy anything without checking it thoroughly. He will shop online, then go to the store to touch and feel and price...then to another store...then back home to get the best deal online. And, to top it off, he never buys on credit. So, financing an adoption was proving to be a challenge at first for him. To me, I thought "If God wants us to do this, He'll work it out"...Of course that was my way of saying "God, if you want us to have another child, you'll drop one off on the doorstep".
WELL, as it turns out, our adoption is now fully funded in less than a month by a little thing called "refinancing". I am delighted since usually nothing ever happens fast enough for me. Andrew is delighted because refinancing our home was something we had to do anyway. He is thrilled with our new rate and appraisal of our home. So, we are truly convinced that there is a divine power at work in this.
Our Heavenly Father is definetly in charge here!

Please read "Africa: Stranger Than Fiction" by Steven VanOrden. It is sold at Barnes and Noble. We think you'll be blessed by this book.


The Way It All Started...

So, WE ARE GOING TO ADOPT TWO LITTLE ONES FROM ETHIOPIA!!!!! So far, the initial reactions we receive are "Wow"..."That's wonderful" & "WHAT???" and of course my personal favorite "Are you crazy? WHAT would you want to do that for?" I'm pretty sure the reason behind the disbelief is the fact that we've been married 17 years and our biological blessings (age 12 & 9) are starting to be more self sufficient and independant. Both kids get their own breakfast (usually) each school morning as well as have their fair share of chores around the house. They both are showing a great sense of pride in their work, are respectful, kind and loving (usually) and show leadership qualities in their daily activities...A lot of 'other people' think we should be sitting back, donating to charities (as opposed to adopting) and letting life take on this relaxed "on the homestretch" turn. Afterall, (as I've heard about 12 times) we could "be having grandchildren in another 10 years!!" Smile. And I say, "Bring it on!" I hope I get grandchildren...maybe not in ten years, but I do hope my children are blessed with relationships as loyal, loving and devoted as my husband and I have to each other. Andrew is my best friend and I do believe in soulmates.

Well, I should let you in on how this all started...
Since my sister as well as my niece are both adopted from infancy, expanding our family this way seems very normal for me. For years I considered adopting another child. My husband wanted six children when we first married but after a job change, this also changed his mind. Not being on the same "page" over the past few years, I abandoned this idea and started getting more "into" my own life and the freedoms that come with the children growing up and such. I started back to work after eleven years and definetly enjoyed my shoe shopping excursions and lunch dates with my friends.
At Christmas, 2007, my mother made an "adoption" comment...which started my husband talking about it again. He, being "on board" now, was really trying to convince me that we should adopt. (It was SO one of those "Where is my husband and what have you done with him?" moments). I was having a hard time understanding how my husband had come full circle and wanted to grow our family...and not just by one but by TWO more.
Of course, I was secretly excited but hesitant. I had been enjoying my little taste of freedom and there were things as a family we could do much easier since the kids have gotten older. Like letting them swim and knowing they could touch the bottom...etc. But when God calls on you, He doesn't give up easily. AND, I would quickly learn that GOD had called on my husband to lead this journey! God knew I would be the easy one (one look at any child in an orphanage and I was hooked) but knew short of moving mountains, Andrew would be the one to convince. Andrew is the money guy. Very financially detailed and knows where every dime goes. I on the otherhand always know that "it'll always work out". He keeps me grounded. =)
So, now that WE BOTH were thinking about adopting...we prayed that God would open doors. We prayed that God would send us a sign. We prayed for guidance. We did nothing.

On January 9, 2008, I was told about a baby girl from China whose paperwork was going to be sent back if she was not requested for adoption. The story really touched me and after prayerfully considering the situation, Andrew & I decided to 'go for it'. I was out on one of my little shopping/lunch excursions with my best shopping/lunch girlfriend and she insisted we look up this child on the internet at the library. Not knowing how the library computer system works, we didn't realize that we'd have to wait in line behind others who were there because they had no computer. Andrea said that she always thought the name Lulu would be a cute chinese name and we referred to this little one as Lulu from then on.
After about 45 minutes (enough time that we could have just driven to Andrea's house!) a computer became free. We eagerly typed in the website and gazed on the most beautiful Chinese baby I'd ever seen. And, her real name included the name Lu! (Lu Feng Hong). We realized that God was guiding us. He was sending us HIS sign.

Well, Lulu was not meant to be, God had another family in mind for, my BMI is not below 40, one of the Chinese government requirements...but nonetheless, we knew that we had made the decision to adopt and now we were going full force ahead.
That's when God lead us to choose Ethiopia.

Welcome to our site! We hope you enjoy the information we share during our adoption journey. As we document this wild ride to bringing home our Ethiopian children, we hope you'll fall in love with this beautiful country as we have.

Washington State, USA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa