Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A few more road blocks and update of where we are in the process

We are used to them... Road Blocks... and we usually come out on the other side with a better view of things.  It's just the scenic view... right?

In addition to the possible cutting back of adoptions in Ethiopia (the buzz is that they are cutting back by maybe 50%... not 90%), we have a few specific road blocks in connection with our adoption.  Many of you have asked "what's next" now that Faith is here.

1.  Re-do entire Dossier.  Why??  When we go to court in Ethiopia, all documents must not be more than 2 years old.  All of our documents were created and/or notarized in November/December of 2009.  Therefore, it's suggested that we redo all of our documents.  While this is going to be a total pain, we can do it.  We have a good copy to go from!  It's just going to be a lot of work to get certified copies of everything again. 

2.  Apply to the USCIS (Immigration) for an extension of our fingerprints and I600A (Orphan Petition paperwork).  If an extension is granted, it will save us from spending another $1000 and 4 months of waiting for the proper paperwork to come thru. 

3.  Home Study Amendment - because we have a 3rd child, and because our USCIS I600A expires in August, we must submit an amended Home Study (which is quite expensive).  Not a huge deal.  EXCEPT, our social worker informed us a few weeks back that they are working from a temporary license.  International adoptions and Immigration, as well as our Dossier, may not accept a temporary license.  (and, judging on how often things change in international adoptions, I'm not taking a chance!)  They are not sure how long it will be until the new license will be received.  The problem is, we have to apply for our immigration extension by May.  So, we have 2 options:

a.  Wait it out and pray that the new license comes and the social worker can do our amendment in time; or

b.  Get a new home study from another social worker (which can take 6 - 8 weeks)... so we still may not have it in time to apply for our extension, not to mention we would have to redo all of THAT paperwork too (references, tax receipts, employment and bank records, new clearances, etc.). . . and we'd have to pay for a whole new home study. . .

My gut tells me to get a whole new home study because I'm a little concerned about the current status of our home study agency.  I'd hate to get the whole way to Ethiopian court and then there be an issue with the home study license or paperwork.  But, because I am a control-freak (and I'm trying to be better), I'm going to wait it out a bit and see what happens.  I do have some 'feelers' out to a few social workers to see if they can expedite a new home study, just in case.

If you could, would you please pray for a resolution to our paperwork issues?  Thanks so much!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Faith's Birth Announcement

Many Memories Pink Birth Announcement
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Guess who's 4 weeks old?

Baby Faithlynn is 4 weeks old already. . . boy, time flies when you are having fun! She's a precious girl who is already showing her girl tendencies -- going from smiling to crying in 4 seconds flat!

As you can see from the pictures, the poor girl gets no attention at all! :)   Let's just say she's got her whole family wrapped around her itty-bitty finger already :)

Department of State - Ethiopia Adoption Notice

Darn it.  Here's the latest from the DOS Website.  Still hoping and praying that this decision is reversed.  What's going to happen to the 5 million orphans in Ethiopia?  What could be more important?

Ethiopia Adoption Alert

Adoption Alert
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

Government of Ethiopia Plans Major Slow-Down in Adoption Processing
March 9, 2011

Citing the need to work on quality and focus on more important strategic issues, the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) will reduce to a maximum of five the number of adoption cases it processes per day, effective March 10, 2011. Under Ethiopian adoption procedures, MOWCYA approves every match between prospective adoptive parents and an Ethiopian child before that case can be forwarded for a court hearing. The U.S. Embassy is working with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to learn more about this change in procedures. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Given MOWCYA's current caseload, the U.S. Embassy anticipates that this change could result in an overall decline in case processing of some 90 percent. If this change is implemented as proposed, we expect, that parents who have begun the process of adopting from Ethiopia but have not yet been matched with a child could experience significant delays. It is not clear if this change in procedures would have any significant impact on cases in which MOWCYA has already approved matches.

Prospective adoptive parents should remain in close contact with their adoption service provider to obtain updates on individual cases.

The Embassy's Adoptions Unit can be reached at

Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Call for Action!

We received the following message from our Agency, as is posted on the Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS).  They have started a petition to the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth (MoWCY) to reconsider their position on the reduction of Ethiopian adoptions.   Please consider visiting the site or signing the petition. 

March 8, 2011

Joint Council: Campaign for Ethiopian Children

What You Can Do:

1) Sign the petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi – and pass it on!

2) Have you adopted from Ethiopia? Please send us up to 3 photos and 50 words or less with what you would like the Ministry to know about your child – we’ll compile the information and send a book to the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs. Send your photos and stories to by Sunday, March 12, 2011 to be included. Please note that sending photos and stories gives Joint Council unrestricted right to use the information you provide.

3) Share…Please send this Call to Action to family members, other adoptive parents, and everyone you know! Post, forward and share your adoption stories via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pray for Ethiopia

As some of you may have heard, there are some BIG changes being talked about in the Ethiopia adoption world that will drastically change international adoptions in Ethiopia.  They are talking about cutting back by as much as 90 percent the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow, as part of an effort to clean up a system rife with fraud and corruption.  This would have a devestating effect on those children and families waiting to be united.  They are talking of making 5 court referrals per day instead of 50, which will make the process of getting to court a painstakingly long one!  This will also effect so many children in Ethiopia.  While I agree with the fact that international adoption is not the only answer to the poverty, disease, and orphans of Ethiopia, it is an option when there are no relatives or other in-country options available.  Many of these kids who are not adopted out of the orphanges get released and become street children or prostitues.  It's a child trafficers playground -- waiting for these innocent children to be relinquished to the street.  We cannot allow this to happen!  I also agree that we need to come in and help familes of Ethiopia before they get into the situation of poverty, disease and death.  But, cutting out international adoptions by 90% doesn't seem to be the answer right now. 

At this point, nothing has been officially posted on the Department of States website.  We are unsure as to how this could affect us and where we are in the process.  I'm trying not to get too excited since nothing is official yet, but it makes me very nervous. 

So, without speculating any more, may I ask that you join in prayer for Ethiopia and it's families and children?  Following are some great  prayer reminders from Tom Davis' blog (Children's Hope Chest):

1. For God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  God is in control. For those of you who are facing being stuck, remember that God is in control.

2. For God to breakdown strongholds of the enemy.  Every child deserves the right to grow up in a health family, and adoptive families provide that for thousands of children each year. Pray that God would demolish the strongholds that are set up against adoption.

3. For God to fulfill His promises.  God defines Himself as the Father to the Fatherless. He declares He will set the lonely in families. He warns those who would interfere with His plan to bring justice and mercy that is due to them. Find the orphan scriptures, pray them to God, and ask Him to fulfill those promises to the children of Ethiopia now.

4. For the courts and judges and government officials making this decision.  Ask the Holy Spirit to permeate the courtroom and convict the hearts of the judges and other government officials. Bring the power of the Holy Spirit into these discussions and proceedings--not that we would get our way--but that God's perfect will would be fulfilled in these decisions.

5. For the children and families   That God would shorten their wait times. Fortunately, God is bigger than these obstacles. Pray that waiting children would receive comfort. And pray that waiting families would experience peace, grace, and love from those around them.