Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sa'at sintno? Meche?

Literally meaning "what is the much time?" and "When?" That is the only question we have on our minds right now. This question is due to the fact that OUR PAPERS ARRIVED IN ETHIOPIA AT 2:41AM Pacific Time!!! The question how much time until we receive the match for our next two children.
As we wait, we are thinking of names to add on to their beautiful Ethiopian names.
Today we are filled with gratitude to the proud Ethiopian mothers and fathers who care and love their children with all they have. The people of Ethiopia are gracious. It must be extremely difficult to see so many children leaving to find families in other countries. After reading a post on the blog "With Eyes Like Mine", I am changing my blog view to reflect the positives of Ethiopia. That yes, even though there is famine and drought, there wonderful and blessed things to focus on. This is my children's country. I want them to feel honored by how Ethiopians are viewed and show pride in their enduring heritage.
So, I hope to take comments like "you're being picky by choosing Ethiopia to adopt from" and focus on "God answered our prayers and led us to these two children"....He could have chosen our children from ANYWHERE. Yet, He chose these two from Africa.
Andrew and I do not know them yet...but God sees them each and every day and whispers their names. He cradles them in His love and oversee's each meal, each comforting word from the nannies. He hears them cry. He knows when they have dirty diapers and knows when they are giggling after a little tickle from their caregiver. These children are no different from anyone else. They are loved and soon will have a family forever.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Le travail administratif est en France

Yea! I've been tracking our little package of paperwork across the globe (literally). From NYC it went to Brussels, Belgium and landed for a short stay in Paris.
Andy and I are almost taking bets on where it'll land next. We can't bet though because we both think it's gonna be Sudan...What do you think? Any guesses?
Anyone who get's the first correct guess will win a GREEN banana bunker! =)


Friday, August 29, 2008

Dossier to NY

Update on the paperwork!!! These things travel fast. I LOVE DHL!
Yesterday our dossier was in Salem ready for shipment. Overnight it travelled through Wilmington, OH and this morning it arrived in New York! (I've always wanted to visit NYC so I'll have to live vicariously through my documents =).
At this speed, I anticipate the package reaching Addis by Monday or Tuesday. We shall see...


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The "8" 's have it!!!

Sometimes the number 8 is lucky! Never heard of this? Well, let me list a few examples...Elliot was born on 8/18/98. My friend and fellow adoptive mama's dossier arrived in Addis on 8/8/08 (she was matched to her baby girl three days later!!!)...and lo, our dossier was shipped DHL to Addis today: 8/28/08. Eight is Great!

YEP, You read right...our papers are on their way to Toukoul Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The official email from our agency says "As of today you are officially waiting to be matched. The matching process generally takes between 4 to 6 months, but now that your Dossier has been submitted you could be matched at any time."

Matched at any time...wonderful and scary and joyous and thrilling and worrisome and jittery and intoxicating and exhuberant and exciting....too many emotions to list. I'll be a wreck when we actually get our match! I can barely wait.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting ready for school mornings!

Yesterday was the kids' first day back to school. Fifth and Seventh grades turned out to be very pleasant experiences for both of them so far!
This morning as I was blow drying my hair, the thought suddenly hit me (like a ton of bricks) "How am I EVER going to get 4 kids out the door on a school morning?????" We were right on time, but that was with two children. And, those two children can get their own breakfast for the most part, get themselves dressed, brush their own teeth, fix their own hair (well, Chloe does still need some help w/ the blowdryer, too) etc. etc.
I guess we'll just need to get up earlier and Chloe and Elliot will be very sweet and willing helpers for their little siblings, won't they? Yes, that's it.
Oh, and I realize that for a while the younger ones can get out the door in their jammies and eat their breakfast in their car seats =). This will be so wonderful. I truly miss those days. So, I guess I get these little panic attacks for no reason. God always gives me a positive thought just when I feel like we're getting in waaaay over our heads. Thank you God!!!!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Article in USA Today

Very good video...

Here is an article that explains some of the "why" we chose Ethiopia. I recently was told that I was being picky by adopting internationally...Everyone has an opinion, don't they? I like to take opinions to heart much like grocery shopping...I take what I need and can use, leaving the rest on the shelf for the next person.

Anyway, as we enjoy our meals, snacks and treats, let's remember what a blessing it truly is to live in our country! A country where food from our dumpsters is more inviting than what most Ethiopians are getting every day.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Washington D.C.

Our documents are on their way to Washington DC to be signed by Condoleezza Rice herself...This should take about a week and a half, then the papers come back to our agency. Next step is the dossier goes on the DHL truck to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! Total time from today til DTC (Dossier to Country) will be about three weeks!!! Which means we could be sent pictures and paperwork on what children will be ours anytime after three weeks!!! Kari at Dove said that we are right on target to travel in December or January...What a ride!!!! Some people need sky diving or bull riding, being shot out of a canon or fire walking for excitement...Call us crazy all you want, but this is pretty darn exhilarating!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun at the park before more shots

Elliot had the last of the shots today...we recently changed pediatricians and so he had his Hep A today. We all will go back for our boosters in 6 mos., but hopefully we'll have traveled by then. Elliot wondered if we would still get our boosters even if we travel before February and I said "Of course, it would be silly to get them 1/2 done and not complete something that could benefit us the rest of our lives"...He still thinks this is ridicules. He's a bit tired of getting shots, I think!

Anyway, we met our new friend K.E. today at the beautiful Laurelhurst Park. She brought her four little ones and we had a wonderful time playing and visiting. Her youngest two are from Ethiopia. The rain stayed away the entire time and we didn't even need to wear coats. The five oldest kids enjoyed playing together while us mommies talked and played with the baby. This gave Chloe and Elliot a great picture of how life will be with their new sister and brother. KE's two youngest are very similar in ages to the ones we'll be bringing home. Her daughter "R" took to both Elliot and Chloe right away and they were ga ga over her. Elliot has said several times, just this afternoon, how cute "R" is. He can barely wait for a little sister. Chloe is a great babysitter and is looking forward to playing and teaching her siblings new things.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Bye Bye Paperwork!!

Even though we had all intentions of mailing Dove our dossier last Friday, *fate* had other idea's and I ended up getting it on the UPS truck today, we officially have begun waiting for word on WHO our little boy and little girl from Ethiopia are. We could know in as little as two weeks (as our friend Tania knows!) or it could be months. Tania sent off her dossier about two weeks ago, it got to Addis Ababa, ET on 8/8/08 and she received word that she is a new mama to a lovely baby girl just this morning!!! Super fast referral! I'm so excited for her. Every family has their own journey and we could be waiting a long time for our little munchins or it could be super fast. God only knows.

Heres a pic of Chloe and Elliot at the UPS store sending off the documents which will eventually help determine who little sister and brother are!
I just wanted to add that we are so grateful for all your prayers and heartfelt thoughts sent our way. We treasure each one of you!


Ok, here they are! Pics of us all getting our yellow fever shots!

Friday, August 8, 2008

oh yes...something else {SO COOL!}

I also DO NOT want to leave out that Andrew and I had our first travel shots last Friday. It wasn't bad at all. Not at all! I got the Yellow Fever vaccine, Tetanus and Hep A. Andrew received the Hep A and Yellow Fever. He is current on the Tetanus.
Anyway, we hadn't really planned on the additional (large) sum of money for all four of us to get the Yellow Fever vaccine (our insurance covers the other shots). I called several clinics and two quoted me $160 per shot and two said they did not carry it. Realizing that we'd probably have to pay the full amt. for all of us, we started to suck it up. Our PCP office does a lot of travel shots but they said they weren't likely to have the Yellow Fever in/most likely would not order. Our kids' pediatrician was very clear to say NADA, "WILL NOT DO IT"... Feeling the crunch, we knew we had no choice but to pay out of pocket.
Friday we arrived at our WONDERFUL doctor's office and had our consultation with Dr. Douglas. Even though we had been told they probably wouldn't have it, nor would they order more, LO and BEHOLD, they just so happened to have FOUR vaccines left. Just the right amount for our family. We only had to do our co-pay! Chloe and Elliot are going in tomorrow to get theirs. (We are so grateful to our doctor!)
My advice to anyone needing this vaccine to travel to pick up your children, would be to ask your doctor if they can order it understanding is that it comes in 5 single doses. This is a very spendy vaccine for your doctor to purchase, but IF you can get FIVE people together (new online aquaintances through adoption groups, family or friends who will be traveling with you, etc) JUST MAYBE your doctor will order the five single doses. That way it won't go to waste on his/her shelf. DEFINETLY WORTH THE TRY! Then most insurances will pay since it is through your PCP.
Anyway, kinda long post, but I feel that this is just one more example of God showing us that this adoption is really what He wants us to be doing.

OH, and we took pics of us getting 'shot'...I'll post them when we have all four finished. The kids got to see us get them last week and could see that it was virtually painless.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dossier complete & other fun stuff

Well, we have our dossier completely finished. The two documents that were authenticated in Olympia arrived earlier this week. Since we took this week "off", we will go through it one last time and then mail it to Dove on Friday. They will go through it and make sure it is complete and then send it on it's way/ultimately to Addis Ababa! Yea!!!!!!!!!!! I have to say that our entire past 7 months have gone quickly and without so much as a major hitch. Yes, this does mean that I've been a little superstitious in thinking that it's the calm before the storm. But since we know that Christ is in charge of our lives, we know we're being taken care of!

On another note, we met our new friend (and adopting mama of a daughter) Tania on Saturday. We went to Burqitu in Portland (great Ethiopian food, wonderful experience) for lunch. The time flew by and before we knew it, we'd been visiting for three hours! Tania began her adoption paper chase the same time we did and so far has had several of her milestones on the same exact day as well! It's very exciting. We may even be traveling at the same time!

As I said earlier, we took this week off. Off from everything pretty much! It's been busy, though. First of all, Monday morning Andrew surprised me by staying home from work all week. I woke up at 5:15 in alarm that he was missing his flight. He rolled over and mischievously said he was on vacation. Those of you who know this man know this is a character trait of his...always trying to surprise me...and always succeeding!
Andrew had planned a fun week of camping up at Cougar Camp (one of our favorite places that is close to home, about a 45 minute drive). We stayed two nights. The weather was awesome, the water was great.
We did come back into town since Elliot had the 3rd/4th grade annual pool party at his teacher's house and both kids had dental cleanings. That was the only appt. we did not cancel. Amazingly enough, we even cancelled the kids' piano lessons! (Shhh, don't tell his teacher that we're just being lazy this week!)
Today we're off to the Clark County Fair..."How the West Was Fun"! We are big fair goers and we went last week, too. Today is the big air motocross, which I LOVE. I pretty much go hoarse with screaming my head off for those guys. (yes, I know who Travis Pastrana is =o).

Well, that's the most of what's going on here lately.
I'll post as soon as I hear our dossier is in Ethiopia! Yea. Should be about two weeks at most. Well, maybe I'll post sooner. Who knows. There is back to school shopping to do for Chloe and Elliot (which I LOVE, too) and I might just take some pics and post them, although that's not my forte'!

Ta ta,
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