Thursday, November 29, 2007


What a busy time of the year!! So much has happened in the last few weeks. Just recently we have had our last home visit, and our home study is just about complete. We received an email today with the first draft of our home study attached. We should be completly finished and ready to send it off to the USCIS within a couple of weeks. Really we don't have a lot to do except WAIT. I am getting used to that word!! Whenever we send something off, we wait until we get it back and then send it off again somewhere else and wait again. Right now we are waiting on my birth certificate and the agency recommnedation form to come back from being certified.
On a more interesting topic, a couple of weeks ago, Kevin's roomate from college came with his lovely wife and three kids. His roomate, Leoul and his wife Koni are native Ethiopians. They were very excited and encouraging over our decision to adopt from their homeland. Leoul and his family are excited about embracing our family as we all will try to help Scout learn about her cultural heritage. Leoul belongs to an Ethiopian Christian church in St. Louis where they live. This is exciting to us because there is an established group of believers that we can network with while raising Scout. Leoul also gave us some ideas of traditions we could start in our home to tie Scout's heritage into our family. Evidently, Ethiopians celebrate just about every holiday seven days after we do. Kevin was pretty enthused about the idea of celebrating Christmas two times this year. I need some time to think about that!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Our Home Study Application

This week we should be able to turn in our home study application and schedule our home visits. I've been told that compiling the paper work for the home study is the most time consuming, so it is definitely good to be almost finished with that! I am hoping that we did it correctly and won't need to go back and do something over!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. We are definitely in the thick of our paper pregnancy. Overall, I would have to say that it has not been so bad. Kevin is almost completely done with his part. All he has left is his autobiography. I am having my tuberculosis test with the kids tomorrow and have my physical on Wednesday. We sent off for all of our police/FBI reports today, and I am going to send all of our birth and marriage certificates this week to be certified by their respective secretary's of state. The home study packet should be finished in a week, and then we'll be ready for home visits by our case worker. Once that is completed and typed we'll be able to send in our dossier. I am sure I am missing a couple of steps there, but I think we should wrap up the paper part by January being the earliest.

God has been so good to surround us by families who are adopting. I am so thrilled for one of my friends, Jamie Jo, who is very close to being in Rwanda (literally on her way there) to pick up her precious baby girl, CiCi. She has been a life saver in guiding me through the paper work frenzy and has really enabled me to take the frenzy OUT! I was very touched that she without a flinch handed over her binder containing her dossier and homestudy and told me to look at hers to help out with mine. She did say though, that if my house burns down to grab this binder before I get my kids :) Another friend, Kari, has been a God send as well. She wrote a post in our Ethiopia Yahoo Group explaining all the "coincidences" we shared. We recently started playing bunko together, her son is in my husband's class, go to the same BIG church, and then to find out we are both going to be adopting from Ethiopia. I feel blessed that God would think enough to place others in my life to be a support and to allow them to weave their life threads into the blanket of my life. It's amazing!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why Africa?

Kevin and I have been asked that question quite frequently lately. Some also wonder why we are not adopting in the United States. I know that I have not addressed that question as intelligently as I could have or maybe should have. So many issues have been on our minds. It has been a feat to get to the point where we are at right now. So many times we struggled with doing what we thought would be best for our family. There are so many considerations when contemplating adoption. What about the costs? What about the emotional stability of a child who could need intense attention and patience due to a hard first few months of life? What about our kids adapting to a new member of the family? Believe me the list goes on and on. The bottom line is that God put this into our hearts, and we have to be true and honor what we believe God wants to do in our lives. The details will fall into place. That doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing, but it does mean that we have the assurance that God will be with us and give us wisdom when we encounter the waves.

Now to Ethiopia. Ethiopia is leading the continent of Africa as having the most orphans. Currently there are over 4 million orphans. Most are orphaned because of extreme poverty due to drastic drought and flooding, but about half a million are orphaned by parents who died of HIV/AIDs. By 2010 over 18 million Africans will be orphaned by AIDS. When we decided to adopt, the biggest considerations that came into place were who has a need and where is God drawing us to. We knew we wanted an infant, so we felt confident that the babies in the United States have an excellent chance of being adopted. We were first drawn to China, but when the time came closer to making a decision, China became more intensive to adopt from (up to a four year wait to adopt). When we noticed that America World began an adoption program in Ethiopia, there was an immediate feeling of "this could be it". After weighing the options and lots of prayer, we felt like this was where our paths were heading toward. In the scheme of things it may seem insignificant to be helping just one of millions, but I can't help but thinking of how Scout will feel about this some day. To know that she was one in a million who was given a different way out of a desperate situation.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moving Right Along

We're feeling official a little more each day. Last night we got a call from our Home Study Coordinator, Steffany. She told me that I will be getting a call from a Local Home Study Case Worker, Shannon, to set up the first of three meetings. A part of compiling our home study is attending a workshop in KC. Since they only have these workshops once a month and the workshop date in November conflicts with previous made plans, Kevin and I are dropping everything and attending the October workshop which just happens to be in two days!!! This will be informative because they address topics like attachment and bonding, talking about adoption with your child, issues in adopting trans-racially and trans-culturally, and other issues pertaining to adoption. This weekend we will also get our home study packet, so we will be quickly immersed in paper work. I kind of feel that my job as a special education teacher has been preparing me for this moment. If you know anything about Special Education Teachers, you know that we reign supreme as the queens/kings in the area of tedious paper work, so bring it on!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We're In!!

WOO HOO, We have been officially accepted into the America World Ethiopia Adoption Program!!! We were told that we will have to fill out some initial paperwork, sign agreements, and make our first payment to get Scout. After that we will begin compiling our dossier (international adoption application)and completing our home study. This is such an exciting time in our family's lives. God has been so good to us, and has joined us with other families who are adopting or have already adopted. Please pray for Scout, the finances to support this endeavor, and that the home study and the compiling of the dossier would be put together without a mistake and in a timely fashion. We are thankful for all our friends and family who are encouraging and praying for us through this magnificent journey!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

We Turned In Our Application!

On Sunday, September 2, 2007, Kevin led our family in a prayer, and then Hally pressed the enter button on our computer to send our adoption application to America World. We are all very excited as we have been praying about this for TWO YEARS!!! Even before we started praying for this two years ago, Kevin and I knew that we would adopt some day. It is exciting that our process begins now. The next step is to hear back from America World stating whether or not we have been accepted into their adoption program.

We have requested a baby girl under the age of 12 months from the nation of Ethiopia. We are hoping and praying to get her by the end of 2008. Tentatively, her name will be Scout Clover. We gave Hally the task of picking out her middle name, and before we could offer her suggestions, she immediately chose her own and mother's middle name, Clover. It is also the first name of my aunt and great aunt. Scout is the name of one of my favorite book characters from To Kill A Mockingbird. It is also so appropriate because we are on the look out for this wonderful addition to our family.