Sunday, February 28, 2010


When we were placed on the waiting list, on January 23, 2009, we began a weekly tradition. Every Friday we would change the magnet on our fridge to the number of weeks we had been waiting. They looked like this…

The final magnets read, “48 Weeks Waiting”, which I unfortunately did not get a picture of. After we received our referral, we started the process over. Every week we would change the magnet to the number of weeks we had been waiting for a court date. We waited over 8 weeks.

Now, we have a new tradition…a more exciting tradition. We can FINALLY count down to something. We can finally look forward and feel hope that there is an end in sight. Now, everyday the number gets smaller. Today, our fridge looks like this…

The most exciting change will come when the magnets start counting down to our departure date!!! The wait for a court date was excruciating at times. I found myself just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Not productive. Michael and I both feel that receiving a court date was, in a way, more exciting than receiving a referral. This is really going to happen. She is really going to be coming home soon. I can’t stop smiling. God is so faithful.

Now, I just pray that we pass the first time and the rest of the families waiting for a court date get one REALLY soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010


WE HAVE A COURT DATE!!!! I have been waiting almost two months to type these words. We are on cloud nine and thrilled with the news that in a couple of weeks we could be the legal parents of our precious Sophia. We got the call at 12:45 pm today! Our court date is Wednesday, March 10. If we pass that day, then they will hopefully give us our travel dates the same day. I expect we will travel sometime between the very end of March and the middle of April, if all goes well. I am really hoping that some other families will get their court dates soon and we can all travel together. The support we have received from the online adoption community is unreal. I would love to share this journey with some of these ladies.

A little update on our fingerprints: On Thursday, February 18 Kristin (our caseworker) emailed me to let me know she had spoken with the CIS office and they had mailed our corrected approval, stating we were approved to adopt from Ethiopia, not Kenya, and that our fingerprints cleared on February 12 and that they would FedEx them to the NVC. She also checked with the Embassy in Ethiopia last week and they had not yet received our documents. I have checked our FedEx account everyday and nothing has been mailed, which confuses me a bit. It has now been two weeks since our prints cleared, so I would think they would have sent them. We have at least received our personal copies, hopefully that is good news.

Please pray for the following:

1. Please continue to pray that our fingerprints and corrected I-171H would arrive at the Embassy in Ethiopia before our court date on March 10. They cannot issue us a travel date until they have these documents.
2. Please pray that we would pass court on March 10 and not be delayed. Ethiopia is ahead of us by nine hours (that is if you live in the Central Standard Time zone). So, the court will be deciding our case as we go to sleep on March 9.
We are rejoicing today and know that God’s timing is always the best. We trust that we will meet our daughter at just the right time. We hope it is very soon, as our hearts are about to explode!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby Shower

It has now been 7 weeks since finding out about our precious baby girl. We had a baby shower this weekend in honor of her, given by my sister, grandmother and two of my mom’s friends, both of whom I have known for many, many years. I had a great time.

It was come and go, which allowed more time for conversations with friends and family. I had a fantastic time catching up with old friends and talking to lots of people about our daughter. We received so many nice presents, which made me even more excited to have her in my arms.
I don’t think we have announced her name on our blog yet, but her name is Sophia. Once we pass court, we will let everyone know her Ethiopian name, which will be her middle name. I call her by her Ethiopian name, more than I call her Sophia. I am slowly getting more comfortable with calling her Sophia or Sophie. At first, I felt like I was betraying her if I didn’t call her M. I think we will probably call her by both names, not necessarily together, but I think both belong to her equally.

My sister ordered an Africa shaped cookie cutter and made these cookies. They were great and tied in very well with the theme of the shower.

The hostesses: Marileigh (my mom's best friend since 4th grade), Amy (my sister), my grandmother, me, and Connie (she and my mom worked together for a very long time).

We have been busy getting Sophie's room ready. It is starting to look really cute. The crib is up and Michael is putting the dresser together as I type this. I will probably wait to post pictures until the room is finished. I am a final product kind of girl. It has to look perfect!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More good news

We had our fingerprint appointment this morning, so we can check that off of the list. We decided to ask while we were there if there was any way we could provide our FedEx account number and they could use it to mail all of the documents. They told me we could! We are currently waiting for our fingerprints to clear and then they will overnight the new prints and our updated I-171H to the National Visa Center in Washington DC. After they process them, they will send them electronically to Ethiopia, which should be about 5-7 days after receiving them. This is very good news.

Does anyone know how long it normally takes for prints to clear? When we had our fingerprints done the first time, it took a full month for us to receive the approval letter. However, we had them taken two days before Thanksgiving and received the approval the day after Christmas. I am sure the holidays slowed things down a bit.
We are feeling much more encouraged and are very pleased things are moving along more quickly. Now all we need is a court date….

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fingerprint appointment

Last week I broke down and emailed our local USCIS office regarding our fingerprint reprint appointment. Even though it had only been three weeks since we sent in the request for an appointment, we were still getting antsy. We have many concerns that our expiring fingerprints are going to slow us down.

I got a very quick reply from them and they told me our fingerprint appointment was scheduled for February 22 at 12:00 pm. Our current fingerprints expire on February 25. I know that it can take many weeks for our new prints to make their way to DC and then to Addis. All I could think about was how thrilled I would be to pass court, (once we get a court date, that is), but we would have to wait to receive an embassy appointment until our fingerprints arrived at the embassy. We don’t want to be delayed by weeks or months.

So, Friday I sent out an email to friends and family members, who in turn emailed it to their friends and family members. We asked for those people to pray for the following:

1. Guidance. We are considering contacting our local US Immigration office via email, or just showing up in person, and asking for an earlier fingerprint date. We want to make the right decision.

2. Favor. Please pray for favor with those involved. Please pray that they would have mercy on us and grant us an appointment that is sooner than our original one. Please pray for the right person to respond to our email or be at the entrance desk if we go there in person.

3. A quick court date. Please pray that we would find out about our court date soon. We think if our court date is scheduled before our fingerprint appointment, it would help us have reason to move our appointment. After we pass court, we will legally be her parents!!!!

4. No delays. Since December, we have been praying that the fingerprint issue will not delay us. We believe it will not. We have faith it will not. Please join us in praying for the same. Please pray that all necessary paperwork and our new fingerprints would be quickly processed in our local US Immigration office and at the National Visa Center in Washington D.C., and then would quickly arrive in Ethiopia.

5. Our daughter. Please pray that she is healthy and happy. Please pray that people are holding her and loving on her. Please pray for her growth and development.
6. Other families. There are at least two other families in the exact same situation we are. Please keep them in your prayers. We don’t want them to be delayed either.

Yesterday I decided to email USCIS and ask them if they would consider giving us an earlier appointment and explained why I felt it was important. They emailed me back today and we get to go into their office tomorrow at 8:00 am!!!! This is 11 days sooner than our original appointment. We are thrilled. We are now hoping that we can give them our FedEx account number and see if they can use that to help ship everything more quickly.

Thank you all for your prayer. It is amazing to see the power of prayer at work. We have faith that this will not delay us.
“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” – Psalm 33:20-21

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Oh my goodness. We have gotten the sweetest pictures over the past few days. Beka very generously delivered a little package to our sweet girl when she was there to meet her precious son. She took three beautiful pictures of her and then surprised us with a short little video. She is spitting up during most of it and looks pretty overwhelmed, but we LOVE it! It is so nice to see her moving. Beka wrote this description of her:

“Your sweet M. is a beautiful baby. I touched her and talked to her...didn't want to pick her up because she looked very content and I didn't want to mess with that :). She was wearing the sweetest little cardigan. She is even more beautiful in real life! She has a sweet soul. Seems very happy and content. She even gave a little grin for the camera. I love those gummy baby smiles!!!”

We also received an update from Gladney. It included a great picture of her with her thumb in her mouth and showed off her big brown eyes. This is what the update said about her:

“This little doll is quick to smile with the slightest interaction. The smallest brush of the cheek or pat on the tummy elicits wide grins and kicking feet. And, I believe, she’s already pretty ticklish! I just sort of casually tickled her little ribs today and got quite the giggle for such a little one. What a doll!”

It has now been five weeks since our world changed. It seems like such a long time ago when we first saw our daughter. We are absolutely in love with her and each day we go without her stings a little. We know she is in great hands and we can tell from the pictures and the descriptions just how happy she is. We are so blessed to have these.

Three families received court dates for February 16!!! There are only two families ahead of us now on the unofficial list. Any day now… any day.