Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good-bye to my best buddy

He was a really good dog and I loved him very much.
Today was a really hard day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pictures I love

My mom and Anna at Dana Point, California in 1996.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kirill's story

This is such a horrible miscarriage of justice and an outrage toward special needs children everywhere.

Kirill's story (click to read)

I'll be praying for this family. I encourage you to read their story and join me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The family far away

Long before we had ever actually contemplated adopting children, I can remember thinking that international adoption must be so much easier than a domestic one because you would never have to deal with the child's birth family. Boy, does that seem dumb now. Or maybe just extremely naive... anyway, I was wrong. Birth family matters a lot, as we discovered along the way, and by time we actually brought our daughters home, I was in quite a turmoil over the lack of information we had regarding their history and their family. You could say I was obsessed. Luckily, through the grace of God and the help of some lovely new friends, we were able to find the birth family, culminating in this day:

We were able to meet with the twins' birth mother, their great aunt, aunt, little cousin, various neighbors and dogs for lunch and coffee in the house where the twins spent most of their baby and toddler years. We were so amazed at how accurate their memories of this place are, despite the young age at which they left. I feel so much peace after conversing with all of these women and sharing with them how Candace Selam and Sarah Fikir have grown and how much we love them.

Through our current agency, we were also able to meet with Feyissa Thomas' birth father after our court hearing. He was a very quiet and unassuming person, and the meeting was very emotional for everyone. We could see how much he loves his son, and we did our best to express how much we would love him too, and that we would always make sure that he stayed in his son's heart.

These people aren't strangers who we hope to never see again... they are part of our family; just a part that lives far away. Although they won't be involved in the day to day aspects of our children's lives, we want our children to treasure them, love them and respect them. We plan to take them back to Ethiopia to visit and hope to keep their birth land and families alive in their hearts.

There is not enough thanks in the world for the Stutzman family, the Meyer family and dear, dear sweet and wonderful Yosi for making this a reality for us.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A silly but special gift

If you have kids, you probably know what I have on my wrist:

They're Silly Bands, of course. Why is a 47 year old woman wearing these with pride? Because her new little son in Ethiopia took them off of his own little wrist and put them on hers. Very sweet, because he had just gotten them not long before, and children in orphanages don't get very many things to call their own. I plan to wear them until he is in my arms again. With the slow down in processing of Ethiopian adoptions, I don't know when that will be... it makes me very sad and very anxious.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Birthday girl

Our beautiful Emily is 20 years old today.
Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here we go again

During our first adoption process, in 2008 and 2009, we agonized through three court dates. And then anxiously waited some more when our case was left open after the third one, while MOWA finished their recommendation and then finally submitted it to the court.

Guess what? We get to do it again. Since the paperwork wasn't submitted this week as MOWA stated it would be, the judge had to reschedule our case to be heard again another day. April 16. No, we don't have to travel to Ethiopia and appear at the hearing. We will just be waiting again. In an unfortunately familiar way.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yes, more waiting

International adoption is an exercise in waiting. After waiting for months for our court date, we were thrilled to sit before the judge last Friday, March 4. We were happy to hear that we are approved as parents for our new son, who we met last Tuesday. But... we are still waiting for MOWA to issue their letter of recommendation to the court, so we are still waiting to officially pass court, and waiting to share pictures of our beautiful new son with the world.