Sunday, February 20, 2011

A BIG adoption announcement!

After lots of little updates about our adoption process, we finally have some big news to share! We have accepted a referral for 2 children in Ethiopia. This means that we were given their files with pictures, medical information, etc to review and decide if they were the right children for our family. We spent some time in prayer and quickly knew that these were the kids for us. As with everything in adoption, nothing is absolutely certain until it is legal, and so it is possible that something will come up and we will learn that it wasn't meant to be. But we are pretty certain it will happen just fine.

Unfortunately we aren't allowed to share too much on the internet yet-if you live near us, I have pictures I can share in person, but if not, you'll just have to wait! And, they do have names (which we can't share here), and we will be giving them new first names, but you'll all have to wait to hear those too! I'll give you a hint though, their names will start with J ;)

So, allow me to introduce you to:

Little Boy: 3 1/2 years old, adorable little guy with a beautiful smile that shows dimples in his cheeks. According to observations from the orphanage nannies, he has a healthy appetite and loves beef stew, is a good sleeper, and is an affectionate child who is happy playing by himself or with friends, although he can be shy in new situations. They also said that he likes to wear pants with pockets so he can walk around with his hands in his pockets. That little fact makes me smile every time I read it! 

We have been in contact with another family who recently went to pick up their son from the same orphanage, and they were able to visit with and take pictures of our guy. She reported that "He was quick to smile and very friendly and BEAUTIFUL!!"  


Baby Girl: 11 months old (will be a year in March). Chubby cheeks and mostly bald (although we just received an email photo update that shows she is getting some curls on top of her head). She's a chunker-at 11 months she weighs 19.6 lbs and is 27.5 inches tall. To put that into perspective, at Jenavieve's 1 year check up, she weighed 18.3 lbs and was 30 inches tall. We may finally have some cute little thigh rolls in our house!

We have read in her file, and heard from those who have been at her orphanage, that she is a very happy, playful baby. 

We are thrilled to bring them home and ask that you pray for them while they wait and that we  have a swift, smooth process. 

So, you may be wondering, what happens next?

Now that we have officially accepted the referral, our file with all of our information and the kids' information, has been submitted to the courts in Ethiopia. Our file will get in line behind everyone who submitted before us and the courts work their way through them on a first come, first served basis. Possibly in 3-4 months we will be notified of our court date, which will be at least a month after that. When we learn of our court date, we will make our travel plans-Eric and I both have to appear in Ethiopian court. And yes, we are making it a family affair and taking Jenavieve with us.

We will stay in Ethiopia for about a week, visiting our kids and doing a little sight seeing. And of course the main reason for the visit-our appearance in court. The judge will review our file, ask us some questions, and we will answer them, and if all goes well, the judge will then finalize the adoption, and they will legally be our children!

Unfortunately, we will have to leave them and come back home while the agency prepares their passports and other documents they'll need to leave Ethiopia. About 6-12 weeks later, we will get to go back to get their U.S. visas and bring them home with us! 

So on the long end of things, it could be another 7 months, or even longer, before they come home. But it could be less too...staying positive and prayerful that they will be in our arms sooner than later!

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