Monday, April 26, 2010

Dossier Run-Through

Sigh of relief... we were able to reschedule our phone call and did it tonight. AGCI recommended that if both parents will be working on the paperwork, that we both be on the call. We have a couple of things that we can move to the priority list, or "get to when you can" list. It is nice to see things broken down instead of a giant cloud hanging over our heads. We will conquer!!

In other news, we have taken 3 of our 6 online courses with Adoptive Learning Partners, and they were not bad at all! Since I have a social work undergraduate degree, I have been excited to see what the flip side is of the parenting education/social work recipient. The information learned so far will be helpful in conversations with friends/family members. We have also been crawling our way through "Eyes Wide Open" workbook. On the dossier run-through tonight, the case manager said that some parents make a getaway weekend where they get all of their education stuff done. Sounds fun to me! Now, if only we could find a free weekend, with a free getaway, haha!

Keep praying for us to get it all done in a timely manner, and for Will, as he is swamped with grad school and two jobs. We can't wait to meet our baby, the light at the end of this tunnel!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Scheduling conflicts

This week I had a work conflict that meant I couldn't be on our AGCI call (to orient us to the adoption planner)- so we rescheduled for next week. I just found out that I have to be at a work conference two hours away next Wednesday, too! That means I can't sit in on the call. I am so bummed right now! I am beyond ready to get the ball rolling. Speed bumps already?!?!?!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fingerprints...check!

One thing off the list- we sent in our fingerprints to the FBI in West Virginia today! Thanks to my new blogger friend, Jenny, for helping me with the process! Did you know that they now scan your fingerprints, instead of ink them? Way cool! Hopefully it won't take the estimated 14-16 weeks to get them back!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Ethiopia?



The most difficult part of preparing for adoption was choosing where we would adopt from. Would we adopt from North Carolina or would we look into international options? It would be nice if we had a spiritual answer for why we chose Ethiopia. We really do not. It was sort of a default choice. Let me explain...

We knew we had a desire to adopt, but we didn't know from where. The domestic options were much more affordable, but they tend to be much more unpredictable and sometimes a longer process. Additionally, we do not know how long we will live in North Carolina, so we didn't feel that a domestic adoption would suit our situation.

So with the decision made to go international, the options seemed to be too numerous to count. However, we quickly realized that our options were actually very small. Each country has certain criteria you must meet if you want to adopt. We realized that our age, our length of marriage, and our income limited us to only two countries: Bulgaria and Ethiopia. After conversations with our friends who have adopted from Ethiopia as well as our agency, we decided that Ethiopia was the right choice for us.

We understand that this means that we will have an interracial family. We aware of the challenges this may bring, but we are trusting in the Lord to provide the grace we need. I will write another blog post tackling this issue in the coming days.

The need for orphans to be adopted from Ethiopia is great. The statistics are staggering.

There are over 5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone
Last year 1,724 of these children were adopted to the US. That's only .0003 percent.
1 in 10 children there die before their 1st birthday
1 in 6 children die before their 5th birthday
Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school
60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
1/3 of the population survive on less than $1 a day

You would have to take all the kids under 18 in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia - remove their parents and then you would have the number of children who are orphans in Ethiopia.

Check out our orphanage here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adoption Planner

It's here! It's here! The UPS man laughed at me because I stood outside watching him drive all the way towards our apartment, and danced when he took out our package from the truck. Our adoption planner and "Eyes Wide Open" education workbook came in today, and we can now begin the long haul of paperwork. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the heap of things to do, but thankfully AGCI organized the binder in a very easy to understand way!


This week is pretty busy for us so I'm not sure that we will have time to really start on our workbook, but I am so glad that we are one step closer in the process! We had to reschedule our conference call with AGCI, so next Wednesday we will "meet" our case manager and talk through the dossier process. In the meantime, I will be devoting my lunch breaks and nighttimes studying this binder!


Can you believe this little cd will take up 3-4 months of our time? Haha! I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Let's shout!

Yesterday Will and I drove to Opelika, Alabama and shared our good news with our family and friends. It is SO EXCITING to have positive reactions from everyone! We are so thankful for God's peace that has been put in our hearts as we dedicate this adoption to His Glory!!

Since this blog has just been made public, I encourage all who are reading this to read the previous posts, in order to see what the journey has looked like so far. Thanks for your support already!

In other good news, AGCI received our application and are sending our adoption planner in the mail this week. We are official clients of All God's Children International!! Our next conference call is on Wednesday when we will go over our dossier paperwork. Let the paperwork adventure continue! Bring it on!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Orientation Packet Mailed!

We had a conference call on Monday that walked us through all of the materials we were mailed last week. Our inquiry person at AGCI has been so precious and informative. Even though this feels like quite a bit of paperwork already, we know the dossier will be A LOT more! I am so thankful that a coworker of mine is a notary, and has agreed to notarize our documents throughout the adoption process. After triple checking our notarized forms, we mailed them along with the biggest check we've ever written! All day long I had been shaky and nervous, but it is SO RELIEVING to have all of that in the mail!

We are going to Alabama on Friday and plan to tell my parents, siblings, and friends about the adoption. I cannot wait! I feel like I am about to burst- I can't wait for the news to be out in the open! Our adoption announcement cards are addressed and ready to be mailed as well.

Hopefully, next week we will hear back from AGCI about our contract, and receive our adoption planner and dossier material. Let's get this party started!!!

We have checked "no preference" on boy/girl, but have specified that we would like a child 0-12 months. This no preference deal sure is saving us from going out and buying a lot of stuff! Otherwise I would be so tempted to buy all of the cute clothes and shoes that I stare at every time I go to Target. One day!

And praise God who is orchestrating the timing of this entire process, who has lead us to this point, financially provided for the first step of the adoption, and who we trust will bring to completion the good works that He started!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Orientation Packet

Well, our orientation packet arrived today! We will go over some of the materials on our conference call on Monday, but need to get a few things squared away (like our home study information) in the meantime. We are about to write some BIG checks, so we can already feel the pressure as large amounts of paperwork and bills are in our near future. We must trust God in HIS timing and provision! All of this will be worth it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Accepted!

Some days just seem better than others from the very start. That is how today can be explained.

Coming off of a great Easter Sunday where we were excited to see over 120 people believe in Christ for the first time and be baptized, I was excited about what the day would bring. The weather forecast called for warm and sunny and the Braves would be playing their opening day game on ESPN.

I was wide awake by 5:00am with a hot cup of coffee and a clear mind that allowed me to finish up some research much earlier than I had anticipated. I had a great lunch of leftovers from our community cookout last night. And my 1:00 class was more interesting than normal.

When I got home from class, just in time to tune in to see Jason Heyward hit a homerun in his first major league at bat, I thought to myself, that this day couldn't be any better. Then my phone rang...

I picked up the phone and after telling the woman on the other end that I was having a great day, she replies, "Well, that is good, because I have some great news for you! Your adoption application was accepted!"

I immediately called Rebekah to tell her the great news and it sunk in, "We are going to have a baby!"

We talked to my parents and little brother on Skype to tell them the good news. Granna and Pops are excited to have a new grandchild on the way!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Application Sent In!

Well, as intended: we sent in our application on April 1! We checked, double-checked, and triple checked the paperwork the night before and morning of sending it off. Our friends who adopted told us we should know something within a week or so! We are getting anxious to spread the news to friends and family!

Will thought it would be funny to show me and my belly along the process. Let's hope mine does not grow at the rate that a pregnant mother's does. Haha!



When Will went to send off our application, our friend Jared paid for the postage. It is sweet to know that this is just the beginning of how the Lord is already providing for this adoption, and the support we already have.


In the meantime, we have been working on some adoption announcement cards and trying to figure out how exactly we are going to tell our family about the adoption. We hope they will be as excited as we are!
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