Thursday, August 27, 2015

Good news (update)

The last months have been a little crazy, so I failed to update....
The cliff notes: we received our MOWCYA approval letter, and then we received our PAIR letter after a successful i-604 investigation was completed by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. All the pieces are falling into place, and with these final documents, our agency was able to request a court date for us!

Because the rainy season had begun by the time we got the above documents, our assigned date isn't until late October... but the good news is: we HAVE a court date, and the days will pass quickly until we get to finally travel to meet our daughter!

Some cuteness to share
Please continue to pray for our daughter as we wait to bring her home... that she continues to be healthy, and that her heart is prepared to join our family!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

...still waiting on PAIR letter and MOWCYA letter...

It has been a few months since we received our referral, so I thought you might like a small update.
(we can't share our daughter's face yet, sorry!)
We are still waiting for a few parts of the adoption paperwork to be processed in Ethiopia before we get to travel:

First, we need to wait for the Ministry of Women's Children's and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) to review our paperwork and our daughter's paperwork, and then to write the recommendation letter necessary to get a court date. This review was scheduled for May 29th, but they are currently back-logged by about a month due to several factors, including an extended power-outage in the MOWCYA building in Addis.

Second, we are waiting for the US Embassy in Ethiopia to complete the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) process. A few of our daughter's documents need to be re-translated before we can be submitted to this - translation errors can send up red flags and delays.

Once we have the MOWCYA recommendation letter and the PAIR letter, we get a court date, and travel to Ethiopia to meet our daughter in person, and to adopt her in the Ethiopian court. After this, she will officially be ours.
Then we have to travel back home while we wait for final Embassy clearance. Once we receive our Embassy appointment, we then travel back to Addis Ababa, to take custody of our daughter, go to Embassy, and finally, FINALLY bring her home!

Please join us in praying that we get a court date BEFORE the rainy season, during which the Ethiopian courts close for 3 months... 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Referral! Referral! Referral!

After 1319 days (43.5 months) of waiting, we got THE CALL today from our agency!!!! We have a daughter! 

She is 16 months old and SOOOOO cute. We can't share pictures of her until after we have passed court, but here is her little hand.


We are so excited and happy!

It will take several more months before we get to travel to meet her, and then several more weeks or months after that before we get to bring her home... so the wait is far from over. However, being able to see her little face makes the wait SO much more rewarding!

We have a daughter!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

...yep, still waiting....

There is no speck of doubt in my mind that THE CALL (aka, our referral call) will come at just the time it is supposed to be, for the exact little girl who is supposed to become our daughter.

However, knowing this does not necessarily make WAITING any easier. I keep reminding myself that many good things in life are worth waiting for - but I still may (or may not) be going very a little bit crazy waiting. Among other things, today I sorted 3 bins of mixed crayons/ colored pencils/ markers into 3 nicely organized bins, 1 each of markers, crayons, and colored pencils. You know, because that DEFINITELY needed to be done. Not only that, but I tested every single marker, and discarded the ones that were dried up.

Anyway, to put a bit of a humorous spin on the fact that we are still waiting, I drew this little cartoon. If you click on it, it should enlarge in your browser, so you can see it better.

For all my lovely family and friends, THANK YOU for putting up with the little bit of crazy I might be exhibiting lately. I hope promise that I will return back to fairly normal at some point in the near future!

On a side note, I am fully aware that waiting is exponentially harder for our daughter. My heart and arms ache to hold her, and I know that yearning to be held and loved must be so much more difficult for our daughter, because she probably doesn't understand what is going on right now.

In the meantime... we pray... and wait... and stare at the phone WILLING it to start ringing with that 703 area code... and wait some more.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

43 months since DTE!

It has been 43 months since we sent our dossier to Ethiopia!
Monday also marked 4 years from the day we first applied to our agency... but families don't get onto the wait list until they send in their dossier, which is a compilation of documents required by the Ethiopian government.

I was really hoping that we would have some news by now, but at the same time, I know that many of the best things in life are WORTH WAITING FOR.

Our DTE buddies (their paperwork got sent to Ethiopia the same day as ours did) got their referral call yesterday, so we are confident it will be our turn SOON.

Yesterday's Bible study included the following verse:
"Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (Psalm 5:1-3)
We will continue to wait in expectation, until we hold our girl in our arms!

Walking on a beautiful beach last weekend helped put things into perspective!

Please continue to pray for our daughter, and for the other children and families at all stages of their adoption.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

42 months since DTE

Our dossier has been in Ethiopia for 42 months now. That is 3 years and 6 months. 

We don't have any exciting news right now... we continue to wait! Several families got little boy referrals in the last few weeks though, so that is encouraging!

Our agency has expanded the expected wait time from 36-42 months to 36-48 months. This means we have been 'riding the wait time expansion' wave from the very beginning. The wait is hard, but we trust in God that HIS timing will be perfect.

I just finished this painting. I have girly thoughts on my mind!

We are ready your our little girl!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

41 months since DTE!

Yup, it's been 41 months since we sent our dossier to Ethiopia.

If our wait was compared to an elephant's gestation period (which is 21 months), we would now have a 20-month-old baby elephant. 

That is one heck of a wait, folks... and we know it will be 100% worth it in the end!

The projected wait time our agency quotes is 36-42 months... so THE call could very much happen any day now... or in a couple of months (in case I lost you, I'm talking about our daughter, not a baby elephant now).

We are so excited to get the referral call... hopefully very soon! We are praying and waiting for you, sweet girl!