Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Big Announcement....

I know what you are thinking, and the answer is no, I am not pregnant.  :)

BUT....our family is growing.

We are thrilled beyond words to announce that we are adopting!

In approximately 18 months (give or take based on paperwork, government agencies, and everything in between) we will be bringing home a baby (or two) under a year from Ethiopia.

Did you know that there are approximately 147 million orphans in the world?
Did you know that every day 26,000 children die of starvation and preventable diseases?
Did you know that God calls us (all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus) to take care of these kids?
That can take on different forms.  Some may support orphan care ministries; some may take mission trips; some give through church and other missions organization, and some bring a few of these kids home to make them a part of their families.  This is where we feel God's leading.  We have enough room in our home and enough food on our table.  We have enough love in our family.  We love our kids more than anything on earth, and we cannot imagine one of them growing up without the love of a family.  We cannot imagine not giving a child a family when it is in our ability to do so.  We cannot provide a home for 147 million, but we can for some.

So that is what we are doing.  We are about a month into the process.  For those of you unfamiliar with international adoption, we will spend the next few months on paperwork, physicals, background checks, a home study, etc. to get our approval through our agency here in the US.  During that time we will also begin preparing our dossier (a giant stack of papers that contains every bit of information anyone would ever want to know about us, notarized, and stamped by the US government) to send to Ethiopia.  Once it gets to Ethiopia, it will be translated and we will be put on a waitlist.  The current time on the waitlist is approximately 8 months.  This could take longer or it could go faster.  After that we will get our referral (get matched with our baby/babies).  We will get pictures and all the available information on our kiddo. Once we accept our referral, we will be assigned a court date and will fly to Ethiopia for court.  We will get to meet them during that trip, but we will not be able to bring them home yet.  After we pass court, we will then come back home for 3-6 weeks while we wait for our US Embassy appointment.  We will then fly back to Ethiopia to pick he/she/them up, go to our Embassy appt, and then bring them home!
I am trying not to think to much about having to leave them in Ethiopia after the first trip.  That is going to be rough.  I am also not trying to think too much about having to leave my other 3 here while we fly halfway around the world (although they will probably have so much fun with Grandma that they won't notice we're gone!)

I am trying to think of any other questions I may need to answer...
-We do have the opportunity to request a specific gender, but we are not going to.  We figure that we don't get to choose when we get pregnant, so we won't choose this time.
-We have said that we will accept one baby or twins.  Our agency does not place unrelated children, only siblings, and because of the ages of our kids, we can only request a child under 12 months, so siblings would then have to be twins.
-We have told both our families, and everyone is excited and supportive (a major blessing!)
-Our kids are super excited!  Well, at least Ethan is.  Caden and Abbie don't really know what is going on yet, but they will catch on. :)  Ethan keeps asking me when we are going to get those babies.  He does not understand why this is taking so long.  Oh, and Ethan is convinced that there is more that one baby, so we will see if he is right. :)

So, that is our news.  If you have any questions, please feel free to comment.  :)

Poor neglected blog...

Ok, I am quite aware that I am the world's lousiest blogger. But I am going to get better.

There is big news coming... I mean HUGE!  (At least huge for us, you may not think it is all that big...we will see.)

I will be making updates more frequently for your reading enjoyment. For now, I will leave you with a few picture of my now gigantic children (in comparison to the pictures that are currently on this blog.)

(These pictures are from Abbie's Dedication.)

Ethan and Caden (I know, not the best picture, but it is impossible to get both of them standing still at the same time!)

The whole family (plus my Dad)  I don't have a single one of the 5 of us with everyone looking the same direction and no one in mid sneeze.  This is the best you get.

Don't worry... I won't leave you up in the air for long with regards to what our news is.  I will start working on the post.  Check back soon!