Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some Fun Baby Stuff Has Arrived

We have gotten some fun baby items lately and I thought I would show you pictures of what has arrived. The wonderful ladies that I worked with in Gibson City had given us a gift certificate to Baby Gap and this is what we used it on. We got our bedding set and diaper bag and they are just adorable. On the reverse side of the quilt it has pink and white polka dots. It is fun getting these items I just wish I could show you pictures of a lovely nursery. But, it is not done yet-hopefully someday soon I can show you pictures.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Are Half Way!!!!

We have been waiting for 5 months and 1 week now which puts us over the half way mark waiting for our referral. The time is quickly moving by and I kind of feel the panic mode starting to kick in that we have a lot of stuff to get done before we bring our baby home!!! Our agency has received lots of referrals lately including baby girl referrals which means our waiting time is still on track. They hope that in December all families with a DTE in March will have referrals. According to the unofficial list of waiting families we are #20 which is so EXCITING!!!!! Lots of families have been traveling to Ethiopia over the past fews weeks and have brought their children home. It is wonderful that they will be able to have them home for the holidays. We just ask that you continue to pray for our sweet little one and for all of the orphans over the world.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Where Have We Been??

I am sorry that I have been neglecting our blog and not keeping you updated on our adoption progress. We are still waiting for our referral. Right now the timeline looks like we will wait around 9 months for our referral which means we will hopefully get a referral in March and then travel 6-8 weeks after that. We ask that you please pray for us. We received some news yesterday from our agency regarding our adoption fees. Our fees have been increased by $3000 which may not seem like a lot to some people but to us this is HUGE!!!! We are already on a very faith driven financial budget and to add another $3000 is a lot. We have complete faith that God has brought us on this adoption journey and he will guide us thru it both emotionally and financially and we just ask that you join us in prayer that he would provide for us. We are not upset with our agency, we know that they had no choice in making this increase. They are providing the best care for our children and are doing wonderful work to join children with their forever families. We would rather pay the extra money in fees than see our agency close because they cannot afford to stay open. A number of things have caused our fees to increase. For example, the costs of things such as formula and diapers in Ethiopia have increased by 400%. We thank you in joining us in prayer. I promise to do a better job at keeping everyone updated on our progress. It is hard to believe that our dossier has been in Ethiopia for almost 4 months. The time is flying by!!! Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

3 Families Just Returned From Ethiopia

Three families returned home from Ethiopia this week. We are thankful for their safe travel and we ask that you pray for all of them as they transition into being home. Click on the links below to read about their journey and see their beautiful children.

Here's a little update on our progress-our paperwork has been in Ethiopia for 2 months which is hard to believe. The time has just flown by!! So far the estimated waiting time has remained the same. We are still guessing that somewhere in between January and March we should receive our referral and then hopefully get to travel to Ethiopia within a couple months after the referral. Thanks for following on our journey.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Welcome Baby Freise

Congratulations to Travis' cousin Hilary and her husband Kevin on the birth of their first child a girl who is named Isabel Leigh born on Sunday August 10th at 5:54am weighing 7 lbs 14 oz and was 19 1/2" long. We are so excited for them and cannot wait to meet precious Isabel.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An Update From Our Agency

Sorry faithful bloggers that I haven't posted in a while. We have moved, been working on projects and I have started a new job so it has been a little crazy around here. Usually about once a month we get an update from our agency on the Ethiopia program. It is so exciting to see how well the program is moving and how many families are receiving referrals. Here is the update from AWAA: Recent Referrals for Ethiopia America World received 10 referrals of children between the ages of 0-5 years for the month of July from Ethiopia. Below are the DTE of the families who received referrals this month: Referrals on July 21, 2008 DTE:11/21/07- Infant Boy 12/7/07- Infant Boy 12/7/08- Infant Boy 12/21/07- Infant Boy 1/25/08- Infant Boy 1/25/08- Infant Boy Referrals on July 29, 2008 DTE:1/25/08- Infant Boy 10/19/07- Infant Girl Based on the new referrals, the wait time for an infant boy is 5-7 months while the wait time for an infant or toddler girl is 7-9 months. The wait time for siblings under 7 is 5-9 months. For those that don't know DTE means Dossier to Ethiopia. Our dossier is DTE 6/13/08 and it is unbelievable to think that it has been in Ethiopia for almost 2 months. The time just seems to fly by. We are at peace with our wait and we thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Family Travels To Ethiopia

The Gibson family is on their way to Ethiopia to pick up their little girl Zoie. Please pray for them as they travel on this wonderful journey to be united with their little girl. You can follow their story at the link below.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Dossier Is In Ethiopia!!!!

Exciting News!!! Our dossier arrived in Ethiopia today. It is just so exciting to know that it has arrived safely. It is a very humbling feeling to know that it is now going to be touched and reviewed by Ethiopian hands. It brings us such joy to know that God is guiding us on this journey and he already has the perfect plan designed for us. We just get to wait and see where the road leads us. It usually takes a few days before our in country representative is able to pick up the package. We are still staying positive with the current time lines that we have been given by our agency. Hopefully within 7-9 months we will have a referral and then travel to Ethiopia a couple of months later. We want to thank all of you who have been praying for us on this journey and we ask that you continue to pray for us as our paperwork begins the review process. Thanks for following along on our journey!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our Dossier Has Left The United States

We are officially DTE "Dossier To Ethiopia" today. We got an email from our agency today and we have a fed-ex tracking number for our dossier package. We are excited to be finished with our paperwork and be able to begin the "waiting" stage. Right now the estimated wait time for a referral is 7-9 months. There is always a possibility this wait time can increase due to the number of families that are adopting from Ethiopia but we are going to stay positive and hope for 9 months. We hopefully only have 36 more Fridays until we will get a referral!! Thank you for all of your prayers that have guided us so far on this journey. We will let you know when it has arrived.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our Dossier Has Arrived At AWAA

We got an email yesterday from our agency letting us know that they received our dossier and it had arrived safely in one piece. She said that if we did not hear back from her yesterday with a problem then she will be taking it to be authenticated and approved at the U.S. Dept. of State and the Ethiopian Embassy this week. If there are no problems there it will be sent to Ethiopia on Friday. We will receive an email on Friday with a Fed-Ex tracking number so that we can keep track of the package until it arrives in Ethiopia. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that we are so close to beginning the "waiting" stage!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our Dossier Is On The Fed Ex Truck Waiting To Be Delivered

After several bumps on our road to getting our documents certified we received them in the mail last Friday from a wonderful lady at our Secretary of State's office. I now realize that this added delay was just part of a perfect plan that God has designed for us and our baby girl in Ethiopia. I overnighted our dossier to AWAA yesterday and I just checked the status of the package and it says that it is on the Fed Ex truck to be delivered. We pray that all of our paperwork will look good and if so it will get authenticated and then will be shipped out of the United States on Friday on its way to Ethiopia. We ask that you pray for this piece of our journey to be completed. Once our dossier is submitted to Ethiopia the estimated wait time for a referral is 7-9 months.

Families In Ethiopia Now

There are several families that are in Ethiopia now being united with their children. They have several photos that have been posted and they will instantly bring tears to your eyes. Please pray for them while they are in Ethiopia and for safety when they travel home. -Kidd Family -West Family -Cordell Family -Gardner Family There are also four families that are set to have court dates today. I ask that you also pray for them that they will pass court today and be able to soon travel to Ethiopia to pick up their children.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Never Ending Paperwork Process

My plan was to go to Springfield last week to get our documents certified so that we could send them to our agency but I was unable to. We have to fax our dossier documents to our agency for review before we can have them certified and unfortunately we are still waiting to hear back. I cannot go to Springfield until I know that all of our documents are ok and can be certified. In addition to this I just found out this week that one of the documents that we were told could be certified in IL cannot be so I had to overnight this document to Virginia and pray that they will certify it quickly and Fed-Ex the document to our agency hopefully within the next week. I do know that our agency only has one person right now working very hard for all of the families in the Ethiopia program. I just have to keep reminding myself that each of these small delays are just a result of God working on the little details of our baby that he has already chosen for us in Ethiopia. Right now our program coordinator is in Ethiopia and they are having several power outages because of the lack of rain that they have had which is causing a decrease in the amount of power that can be used. Because of these power outages many families have not been able to receive referrals and some families have had delays in court. We ask that you pray for the power to be restored and for us to receive the ok that we can have our documents certified and we can finally have the status of DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Our Document Has Arrived

I have been very behind on posting lately but I wanted to let everyone know that our last document has finally arrived!!! We have to have everything approved by our agency and then I can take our documents to Springfield which I am hoping to do on Thursday or Friday to be certified. As soon as they are certified then I will Fedex them to our agency. This means that all of our documents will be in Ethiopia in just a few weeks and then our wait will begin. We will be counting Fridays again like we did when Travis was overseas-they seem to go so much faster!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

One Down, One To Go

I got an exciting email on Friday from our caseworker letting me know that she received our DCFS foster care approval and would be mailing out our packet that day for us to send to USCIS. I was suprised to find our packet in our mail the next day. I plan to mail this today and hopefully we will just be waiting a couple of weeks to get our updated I171-H from the immigration department and once we receive this we can send everything off to Ethiopia. It is so exciting to be feeling this close again to having everything finished and out of our hands!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lots of Referrals!!

Three families in the Ethiopia program received referrals on March 26th. The ages of the children referred ranged from 6 months to 9 years old. The DTE (dossier to Ethiopia) dates for the new referrals were: Infant girl: 8/1/07 Sibling group of 5 & 7: 10/26/07 Sibling group of 6 & 9: 12/7/07 A total of nine children ranging from 1 month to 9 years were referred to families. This is such exciting news. Based on these referrals once we submit our paperwork we will be waiting around 7 to 9 months for our referral.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Family Traveling to Ethiopia

We are still busily working on paperwork. We are waiting for our agency to approve our homestudy and then this will be forwarded to DCFS for our foster care license and to the state dept. Once all of this is done we will be ready to send everything to Ethiopia. What a relief this will be when we get all of the paperwork completed. AWAA has another family traveling to Ethiopia today to pick up their little girl. She is just absolutely adorable and has tons of hair!!! Click on the link below to follow their journey:

  1. The Steiger Clan
I ask that you pray for this family that is traveling to Ethiopia and also pray for all of the families that are so close to a referral that God will give them peace until they get "The Call."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Families Traveling Home From Ethiopia

I know that many of you wonder what it will be like when we travel to Ethiopia to get our precious little one. There are several famlies that have been in Ethiopia all week and are making their way home. I have attached links to their blogs so that you can view the wonderful pictures that they have posted of their journey. The Harpolds The McIlraths The Treadwells The Wegners It is so neat to see all these pictures and read about the journeys realizing that someday that would be us. We ask that you pray for these families as they are traveling home.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Daily Devotion

I wanted to share with you this awesome story out of my daily devotional Bible that I read last night. I have to thank my dear husband who bought this for me a few years ago. It is talking about the walled city of Jericho and as soon as I started reading the explanation of the verse I instantly thought of our adoption. The verse is Joshua 6:1-20 The Lord said "You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days... But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets... All the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat..." This is how my devotion reads: "Sometimes God asks us to have that same faith. We face walls circumstances we can't conquer and God tells us that we will be victorious. But then all He asks us to do is walk just trust Him with the details, and keep on walking. Even when we don't understand God's purposes. Even when we can't see the point. Even when we'd rather discuss the matter or file a few grievances first. God just asks us to have enough faith to keep on walking. The victory will be his." This spoke straight to my heart regarding the road we are traveling on to bring our dear Olivia home.

Finally Our Paperwork Packet Has Arrived

Finally on Saturday our packet from AWAA that we have been waiting for arrived in the mail. The "paper pregnancy" has officially begun. We are now busily trying to gather all of our needed documents to send to Ethiopia. For those of you who are not familiar with the adoption process I thought I would post a list of everything that we have to gather so that it would give you a better idea of what this involves. Ethiopia's paperwork does not include as many documents as what El Salvador's did so hopefully it will be easier the second time around!!! What our dossier will include:

  • application letter to the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs
  • original birth certificates for each of us
  • original copy of our marriage certificate
  • physical exam, blood work and urine test for each of us
  • proof of medical insurance
  • proof of life insurance
  • financial information
  • proof of income
  • home study including a foster care license
  • 3 letters of reference
  • police department record
  • I-171H
  • power of attorney
  • agency recommendation
  • agency post-placement agreement
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • photocopies of passport
  • photo pages-including 2 formal photos,4 of family life,1 of front and back of house and 1 photo of each main room in the house

Each of these documents have to be notarized and then appostilled with the State of Illinois. Isn't it hard to believe that this is less than El Salvador. We will keep you posted on our progress. We also ask that you continue to pray for the families that are in Ethiopia right now.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Purchase for Olivia

I have been seeing lots of the (product) red items at the Gap and have really been wanting some but I was waiting to see if they would go on sale. (for those of you that know me you know I have to find a deal before I can buy something) Well when I went to their website the other day I found they were having a great sale so I decided I just had to have a couple of them. Half of the proceeds from this purchase go to help fund Aids research in Africa. I bought this adorable onesie and also a shirt for our little girl once she comes home. I thought it would be really neat for her to have these outfits. One thing that I have learned throughout this adoption process is PATIENCE. We are still patiently waiting for our packet to arrive that contains all of the details that we need to re-do our paperwork for our dossier. We did find out from our caseworker that we are now in the DCFS computer system which is good to know that our fingerprints did not get lost!! However, she has not received our DCFS foster care license yet but hopefully soon she will. We have families from AWAA that are getting ready to travel to Ethiopia and I just ask that you would pray for these families as they prepare to leave and for their safety while they are gone and to have wonderful reunions with their children!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dinner With Other ET Families

On Monday night Travis and I had the opportunity to meet families in the area that have or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. It was great to be able to talk with other families that have already been thru the process and hear their stories. It was wonderful to see the little faces from Ethiopia. They were so cute and so full of life. We are hoping to continue to meet on a monthly basis which will be a great opportunity for our children to get to know other children from Ethiopia. We are hoping to even go to some Ethiopian events and a restaurant. It is amazing the bond that you can feel with someone who is going thru something so similiar. We are still anxiously awaiting our packet from AWAA that includes all of the paperwork that we are to complete for our dossier. I am hoping this will not take too long to complete. But, as we have found out with international adoption everything always takes longer than expected. And we just always have to remind ourselves that in God's time we will bring our baby home. It seems that Travis is reminding me of this much more than I remind him. It is funny how our roles have kind of reversed with the adoption. Normally he is very impatient but with the adoption he is the one with the patience and has to constantly remind me that God is in control!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We went yesterday to Springfield to get fingerprinted for DCFS. Our baby will come home with an IR-4 visa which means we have to have a foster care license. We have already completed our paperwork for the license we just have to wait to get our approval back. Right now the turn around time is around a few weeks and our caseworker should receive our approval. This is the main thing that we are waiting on before submitting our paperwork to Ethiopia. The rest of the paperwork that we have to complete will not take us very long. It is mainly updating everything so that it has a current date on it. With all of the fingerprinting that we have had to do we should be in just about every system possible!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Our Adoption Journey

As many of you know our journey has led us down quite a winding road. We started our journey in June of 2006 with our hearts praying for our baby that God was going to bring home to us from El Salvador. We were able to move quite quickly thru most of our paperwork. However, in November and December it seemed like there was always something that was keeping us from getting it completely ready to send to El Salvador. Looking back now we know why, God had a different plan for us. When we received the email from our program coordinator explaining the situation in El Salvador, I just cried and cried because for all of this time we have had this baby in our hearts and now it seemed that the journey of bringing them home was impossible. Travis was a saint thru this, he was so calm and made sense of our whole situation. After a lot of praying and talking we felt that God was temporarily closing the door to El Salvador and opening our hearts to a wonderful little girl in Ethiopia. It is amazing how he can make us feel such a sense of peace when we listen. Once we "officially" left the El Salavador program, we were accepted into the Ethiopia program in just a couple of days. We are now busy completing our paperwork for our new journey. We were able to transfer all of our paid program fees from El Salvador over to Ethiopia which was such a blessing. If we hadn't been able to we would not have been able to start this new journey. We are hoping within a month or so we will have all the paperwork completed and everything will be ready to send to Ethiopia. Looking back on our journey since June you can see where God was leading us and it is so much easier to see when we can turn everything over to him. I think that God was preparing our hearts for two little children, one in Ethiopia and one in El Salvador. Eventually we will start this adoption journey again and bring our baby home from El Salvador. We look forward to sharing our journey with you.