Sunday, August 21, 2011

So much to say..

family picture in MI
Time flies in the summer and our summer has been filled with keeping busy beyond belief!  We made a road trip to Michigan to surprise my family for my cousin's graduation, spent a lot of time working on organizing a "need's closet" that supplies clothes to people in need as well as gathered many bags of clothes for children in foster care and just in great need, began training for a half marathon fundraiser (more about that later), made another road trip to TN to visit more of my family and now are home trying to get caught up on oh so many things!  Also there have been some exciting updates recently in our adoption and in other families within our agency...
Jalen loving the pool in TN

SIBLINGS????  In the last few months we have been entertaining the idea of switching our adoption request to accept siblings.  When we had our home study done we were approved for 2 and all of our paperwork says up to 2 children so we talked to our agency and asked how that would work and if we could do it with having our child being being under 3 years old right now.  It turns out if there are siblings that are adoptable, only one of them has to be younger than Jalen to maintain birth order but the other one can be older.  This is where we had to do a lot of praying and thinking and planning...not that one would be older, but how old do we say???  As much as my heart doesn't want to turn away any child no matter their age, gender, health, etc., I know we do also have to think about what would be best for that child as well as for Jalen and us, so for some reason 10 years old just seemed to keep coming to me.  We have prayed about it and that number didn't change so 10 it is.  I wrote a letter to our case worker stating we will accept siblings if available and although one would stay younger than Jalen, we are asking that the other one just be younger than 10.  This all seemed scary at first and when our case worker explained that they haven't had a huge history with sibling groups coming in I had a slight sense of relief that we are available but it might not happen but now it is the complete opposite...I truly am hoping that when we get that long awaited call one day for our "referral" of our child that it is actually a call saying they have 2 for us!!!

Now on that track of referrals, I wanted to give an update that has made my impatient self much more content.  After some time with mo referrals given and word of everything slowing down big time,  we have had movement!  In the last 2 weeks, Dillon (our adoption agency) has given 4 families their referrals for their children (all between the ages of 3-4 years old).  These families all had their dossier in Ethiopia in October so they waited exactly 10 months.  Now that may not seem like a lot of referrals to you but the Ethiopia program is smaller with Dillon than it is other agencies so after those referrals were given that leaves 11 families waiting for a referral and we are one of the 11 families!!!  Also exciting is that our agency is working hard to build more relationships with more orphanages in Ethiopia so that would mean more children will be available to be adopted.

Right now it is winter (rainy season) in Ethiopia and it is the law in Ethiopia to close the courts for 2 months which means for 2 months there are no court appointments and finalizations of adoptions will be slowed down.  The courts closed Friday, August 5, and we have been told they will remain closed through late September to early October, so even though many families may have their referrals, they will have to wait 8-12 weeks before given a court date to travel and meet their child.  Then after court they will return home and wait another estimated 8-12 weeks to be given an embassy date to travel back to bring their children home.  Please be praying for these families as it is so exciting to know who your child is, see his or her face but I can only imagine how hard it is to now know it may be 4 more months or more until they can be brought home.

So many people have been asking, how much longer we have so here it goes...our dossier was officially in Ethiopia July 2011 so by the current time-line we can estimate our referral given around May 2012, then our court date around June or July 2012 and bringing our child(ren) home around Aug 2012!  That would be exactly 2 years after submitting our first application and Jalen will be nearing 4 years's a long wait but my heart is prepared for it and if by chance things start speeding up or something changes (for the best), I will just be that much more excited.

Next Post to come soon, our upcoming fundraiser...