Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3

Monday, February 28, 2011

Moving Forward!

Well, we haven’t posted many updates lately because it has mostly been a month of waiting.  But we are happy to report that the last week has been a productive one!  On Wednesday the 23rd we received a draft of our home study report and by Friday it was approved.  It was actually kind of fun to read through the report and to see how our case worker interpreted some of the comments we made in the interview process.  Let’s just say we learned that we are both avid gardeners!  Yeah, we had to change that before the final version was submitted.  
While this last month has been frustrating at times because we couldn’t do anything to move the process along, God continued to show us that he is in control in a couple of different ways.  Our prayers were answered and he spoke directly to us on a few different occasions at church.  We know we are where we are supposed to be right now and we have found peace in that place.  Sure, we still have days that are challenging - just the thought of a few more months of paperwork, 6-8 months on the waiting list, and then 4 months or so before we can travel the first time makes it seem like having a child home and in our arms is a long way off yet.  But we just continue to remind each other to stay patient and trust...we know that you all are praying for that too and that gives us comfort.
So what is next?  Immigration and the dossier are our next tasks.  We actually mailed in the immigration package to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office today.  This whole process takes up to 8 weeks and includes fingerprinting, background checks, etc.  Hopefully all goes smoothly.  Our caseworker told us that during these 8 weeks we need to work on our dossier.  That will then be ready to go by the time our immigration approval comes back.  At that point we’ll be done with the paperwork (for now at least)!  Off to Ethiopia they will go and then we will be on the official waiting list.
One more thing - along with our home study we completed our preference sheet.  We decided to request an infant 6 months or younger at the time of referral.  We also stated that we’d prefer a boy, but we will accept either a boy or a girl.
It has definitely been a good week.  We are praying that things keep rolling from here!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Country of Ethiopia

We thought it would be good to share a little about the country of Ethiopia since many people have been asking.  Ethiopia (highlighted in green) is located on the in Eastern Africa and is bordered on the north and by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west by Sudan.  This leaves Ethiopia landlocked to the body of water to the east (Red Sea).

Ethiopia is about the size of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico combined and is populated by 80 million people.  The capital is Addis Ababa (pop. 5 million), which is located in the middle of the country.  We will be traveling to Addis Ababa for both of our trips to Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa has quite a pleasant year round climate.  We assumed that it would be HOT and dry.  But, Addis Ababa has a elevation around 8,000 ft, making the average high temperatures around 68-77 degrees and lows around 42-50 degrees.  

The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic.  English is widely taught in the schools, so many Ethiopians know some English.

I will post some more information on Ethiopia as we learn more!

On another note...not much new on the adoption process.  We are waiting for our home study report to be finished and then approved.  At times like this we feel kind of helpless...nothing we can do to move the process along.  We are continually reminded that God has everything in his hands.  He has a child picked out for us and we need to trust his timing.  He reminded us just this week of his faithfulness and perfect timing!

Romans 15:4 (NLT) Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Last Home Study Meeting

Yesterday we checked one more task off the list - our caseworker visited our home for our fourth and final home study.  It feels good to have this series of meetings done!  Our caseworker is now writing the formal home study report.  Once done and approved, we will begin the immigration process and start to assemble our Ethiopian dossier.  

We know we are still a few months away from sending everything to Ethiopia to officially get on the "waiting for referral" list, but it is nice to be one step closer!