Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We're Gonna be in the Paper!

The Pell family has made the local newspaper. A reporter from the News and Record came by our house yesterday to interview us about our adoption journey. She has found our blog online and wanted to do a before and after story about us. The first article is going to run this Sunday and the second will run the week after we get back.

We started blogging about our adoption process with the hope that by sharing our story, others might consider adoption as a way to grow their families. Adoption tends to be an intimidating venture and we found it difficult to find information and make decisions when we first started the process. We have tried from the beginning to be as transparent as we could with the ups and downs, heartaches and joys, and also with the overall logistics of adoption. We are so excited that this article could be another way to encourage others to think about adoption and orphan advocacy.

I will try to post a copy of the article next week for those of you that don't get our paper.

8 more days till we leave!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Financial Update

We haven't posted an update on our finances for a while. I have been waiting to book our plane tickets as the prices were bouncing all over the place. As of today we have been given $16,893 toward our adoption!!


This number blows us away. We are so humbled by the generosity of others. This total will cover all of our travel expenses along with the post adoption fees that we will owe over the next year. Thank you just doesn't even begin to express how much all of your support has meant to us. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas




The presents have been opened, the stockings emptied and Christmas is coming to an end. Though we had a wonderful time as a family of three, our baby boy left the holidays seeming just a bit off. Just not quite as special and complete as it should be. We can't wait to be a family of four. Just two more weeks and we will be on our way!!

Merry Christmas to you all!!! Hope you enjoyed your holiday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Confirmed Travel Dates!

We have confirmed travel dates:

Flying out on January 8th (my birthday!!)
Arriving in Addis on January 9th
Meet Johnny on January 10th
Embassy Date on January 11th
Fly back out late January 15th 12:20 AM
Arrive back in Greensboro January 15th at around 6:00pm

So excited!! Lots to do!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

No News on Confirmed Embassy Date

No news to report today. Hopefully tomorrow. We have plane tickets on hold leaving January 8th and returning to the states on the 16th so hopefully we will get the green light tomorrow and we will be set.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tentative Travel Dates

We got a call from Christy today letting us know our family has been tentatively listed for the embassy date on January 11th which means we would leave on January 8th!!! She is hoping that we will get confirmation by the end of the week so that we can book our flights. Here we come baby boy!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gorgeous

Yesterday we got the best gift from one of our blog buddies......she remembered seeing our sweet little man and told us the following:

"Oh, I totally remember him! Yes, he and ____(her daughter) were roommates and he stood out to me because he was so gorgeous. He and _____ (her daughter) seem to share the same personality too -- very easy going and very sweet. I remember him sitting and watching all that was going on with intrigue, and taking it all in. He also stood out to me because of all his fun hair

So... the word that I think describes your boy is content. He seems like he's a quiet observer."

What a wonderful suprise to get a first hand account of our son. It sounds like he is going to be laid back like our daughter was at his age. What a blessing!!! We also got some new pictures and some video that I can't share online but was so wonderful for our family to see.

Update on Travel: Our caseworker called today to let us know that there is an embassy date scheduled for our agency for January 11th. This would mean that we would leave January 8th and meet our son on January 10th. It is not confirmed that our family will be scheduled for this date but it sounds like we have a pretty good chance. We are hoping to get a confirmation by the end of the week on our travel date so we can buy our plane tickets!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A special prayer for Johnny

Most of you probably don't read all of the comments on our blog so I wanted to make sure that I posted this one from Emma's aunt and cousins:

"Whooo Hoooo!!! I've been stalking my email and your blog for news this morning! The boys and I just prayed for Johnny and this is what Luke prayed, "Dear Jesus, I want to teach Johnny how to play drums when I get older and please keep him away from sharks." Jack prayed, "I want to teach him how to drink water." Love you and miss you. "

Oh, I love hearing the prayers of little ones. Thank you again for all of your prayers and encouraging words over the last month!! We hope to introduce our baby boy to you all soon!


We Passed....Again!!!!

Christy just called to let us know that we were approved and passed court last night! Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and prayers. I am once again breathing a sigh of relief.

We are hoping to travel early January but nothing is set. With all that has happened I don't know that I can fully celebrate until we have a confirmed embassy date and get our plane tickets. Tonight we will celebrate taking this next step....hopefully in the next couple weeks we will be notified of our travel dates and be able to celebrate without reservations.....

Please pray for the Hernandez and Wenzel family who go to court for the second time tonight.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Court Tonight Once Again

We go to court again tonight. Please pray that the letter from MOWA is there and that we pass with flying colors! Also that we find out first thing tomorrow either way so that the anticipation is bearable (this would be around noon NC time)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Expectation...Disapointment....Hope

Back in October, I was expecting to have our son home by now. I remember thinking, probably by Thanksgiving but definately by Christmas. Then Thanksgiving came and went, I went through the disapointment of not making the first travel group and found hope in being included in the next. Our court date came and and with it great news. We breathed a sigh of relief, our waiting was coming to an end. It was looking very good that we would have him home for Christmas. We waited for our travel call and instead were faced with disapointment again. It took weeks for me to feel like I had come to terms with the ramifications of our delay follwed by a week of hope that our wait would once again come to an end and then....disapointment again. Many have described adoption as a roller coaster of emotions. I would say this is a very accurate description of how we have been feeling. And so here we are....hope is starting to peek through once again......expectation of passing court on the third try is beginning to form......please Lord let it be followed with relief not disapointment.

We are praying for the miraculous. We are praying that whoever is responsible for our paperwork at the Ministry of Women's Affairs dreams dreams about our family tonight. That he or she can't shake us out of their mind. That getting that letter done is at the top of their list to do when they enter their office tomorrow (tonight for us). Please pray with us that our wait comes to an end and that if it does not, that we are able to give our disapointment to our maker that is able to bear it for us....I am no longer able to bear it alone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seriously?!?!?!

A representative from our agency went to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs today to inquire as to why we (and several others) did not pass court. They were told the MOWA needed more time to review our file and was not able to have the letter of approval to the court on time. Seriously?!?!?! They have had our paperwork for almost four months now. Someone is not doing their job or we are getting overlooked. They had four weeks from the time of our last court failure to review our paperwork. This is so frustrating. We have asked about contacting MOWA ourselves and our case worker said that she would advise against this as it could cause them to be annoyed with our persistence and put us at the bottom of the stack again. It makes me very nervous that our letter still hasn’t been written. There is no guarantee that it will be written and get to court in a week if it hasn’t been done by now. MOWA is aware that we have a court date on the 9th but they were also aware we had one on the 6th and 26th of November. There is nothing left to do but pray that whoever is responsible for our case will get it done and to the courts in time for our court date next week. The emotional roller coaster we are on is getting pretty old............

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rescheduled for December 9th

For some reason our case was rescheduled for December 9th. We will have to go to court for the third time in an attempt to make Johnny our official son. We are so dissapointed by this news and frustrated that we feel so helpless in all of this.

Another family that has been walking this path with us also received the same news today. Our agency is trying to figure out what happened but has no explanation for us. I would assume the same letter that was missing for the first court date is still missing.

This means that leaving on Christmas is definately out and so it looks like some time in January would be our travel date. My heart is broken once again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

No News.....

I talked to our case worker this morning and she said that they had not received any correspondence from Ethiopia over the weekend. They were going to call and attempt to get verbal confirmation of our court decision but were unable to get through. So we wait for another day and hope that around noon tomorrow we hear something. Wait, wait, wait………..you would think we would get used to it by now but it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Sweetest Big Sister


Today we did some crazy early post-Thanksgiving shopping and put up our Christmas tree. Once we were finished, Emma stepped back, took a look at the tree and with her hands on her hips exclaimed...."it's perfect". Then, immediately followed with "baby brother yike this!!....he be happy!!!" (She came up with it all herself as we had not talked at all about him seeing the tree) I think we may have to leave the tree up well into January so that baby brother can enjoy Emma's handywork. Fine with us. We LOVE CHRISTMAS.


We are still hoping for some good news on Monday and travel dates to follow soon. It looks like as of now, leaving on Christmas day may be a possibility but we won't know anything until at least the end of next week.


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Second Court Date Tonight

We go to court again tonight in Ethiopia. We are praying that the letter that was missing from our last court date has made it to court and that the judge can make the final decision on our case. We do not expect to hear anything until Monday with it being Thanksgiving so please pray for patience and peace during our wait.

The reality of this delay did not really hit me until last week. I have been overwhelmed with feelings of dissapointment and sadness. Our baby boy will be spending his first Christmas in an orphanage due to a piece of paper not getting to where it needed to go. It has been a very long wait for us since referral and the good news followed by bad was very hard to take. Thank you for all of you that have encouraged me during this time. Hopefully we will get good news and travel dates assigned quickly so that we can move forward and bring out little one home safe ........

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Showered with love and gifts in Greensboro.......

Last Thursday Vicki, Kristen and Stacey threw us a baby shower for Johnny. Emma and I had so much fun. We came home will lots of clothes and even a whole bunch of personalized onesies made for us at the shower. Thank you to everyone that came to celebrate with us!
















Thanks to Alisa for the great pictures....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Room is Ready

My parents came to visit this week and with them my mom brought Johnny's bedding she had been working hard to complete. I love it!!

John and Emma will be sharing a roon so we split the room down the middle, kept the green and added the blue. I think it turned out great and am very excited to have this room filled with two crazy kids.






Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heartbroken

We got a call from our caseworker today saying that they were told wrong and that we had in fact not passed court on November 5th. In order to pass court we needed to have a letter from MOWA (which I think is like our social services) recommending us as adoptive parents. This letter did not make it. Our second court date is scheduled for November 26th. Johnny's birth mother was present at court and according to our case worker she will not be asked to go again. So it sounds like the chance of us passing the second time is very good but it also means that we probably won't be traveling until January. We are so sad. We don't understand why we heard one thing and got our hopes up and then a week went by and we didn't find out about the problem until today.

Our hearts are broken. We want to hold our baby boy. Each month that ticks by is another month that he is not able to be in our family. It has been long enough since we saw his picture, we want him home!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still on Cloud Nine

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel after passing court. Physically, nothing has changed. We already considered him as part of our family so that didn't change. Would a government making it official really make that big of a difference?



YES!! I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. We are, of course, very anxious to go get him but now that it is official I no longer find myself holding my breath; preparing myself for the worst while hoping beyond hopes for the best. The hurdles have been overcome. He is ours and that makes a huge difference.



We don't have any news on travel and really don't expect to hear anything next week. The earliest we would probably hear something is the next week and that would be faster than they are saying. We are packing up our donations and I have begun the list making so that we are ready when we get the call. We will probably have a two week notice when we are given our travel dates.



Congratulations to the Easts, Shauna, Hensley's and McBrides! They are the first families to travel since the court closure have been given a November 23rd embassy date. This is great news and we are so happy for the families that are going to be meeting their children in less than two weeks!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We Passed!!!


We got the call today letting us know that we have PASSED COURT!!! This means that Johnny is officially ours according to Ethiopian and American law. I am relieved and so excited that we are so close to bringing our baby boy home.

The only step we have left is our US Embassy date in Ethiopia. This is a date assigned to our agency when the families adopting are required to be there in person to get their childs visa to bring them into the United States. The time between passed court and embassy date used to be 3-4 weeks but now due to a process change they are estimated it to be 5-7 weeks. For us to get assigned an embassy date the following needs to happen:



  • The court decree needs to be given to our agency representative in Ethiopia. This normally takes a week.

  • Once this is received, a birth certificate and passport will be requested and a final medical review will be done on Johnny.

  • This paperwork will be turned into the US Embassy and they will confirm our embassy date.

Right now the tentative dates given to All God's Children for December are for the 14th and the 28th. This would mean us leaving on the 11th or the 25th. There is no way to know which date we will be given as the processing time varies. We are of course hoping and praying for the December 14th date so we have him home for Christmas but probably won't know more until the end of November.

So we wait again....but he is officially ours.....so today we celebrate!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ready to Exhale...Court Tonight

We go to court tonight!

Ethiopia is 7 hours ahead of us so when we are sleeping (probably not but hopefully) tonight, the decision will be made as to whether our son is officially our son.

From the time of referral to our court date I feel as though I have in a sense been holding my breath. In going through this adoption process we were warned from our social worker to not take anything for granted or see anything as a "for sure" until it was happening. She even went as far as to advise us to not refer to our baby as "ours" or "brother" or "son" as so many things can happen between referral and court. In short, she told us to guard our hearts from being devastated if something went wrong.

Though we loved our social worker and gained valuable information from her that we did take to heart, we completely ignored this advice. We dove head first into loving our sweet John T. at first sight. This is why I feel as though I have been holding my breath. In adoption, as is in life, anything can happen. So we hold our breath, hopefully for only one more night, until we hear word that he is officially ours to bring home.

Please pray for peace over our family as we wait anxiously once again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Formula and Diapers


I have been storing the formula and donations that we have been given to take with us to Ethiopia in Johnny's crib. I thought it might be a good idea to get an idea of how many pounds we had both to gage how much more we could collect and to make sure we weren't going to damage our baby boy's future sleeping spot. As of yesteday we have collected.....
80 pounds of formula and diapers!!
This does not include the $250 in cash and gift cards we have been given to purchase more before we travel!! Thank you everyone for your generous donations. Special thanks to my friends and co-workers at SMC who donated more than half of the items and the Wenatchee Valley Senior Center for their cash donations!
Keep 'em comin.......We have been told that the airlines will often times waive fees for extra baggage in the case of adoption donations. We will plan to take the 150 pounds and then if we have more we will try to take that as well. If they deny us the luggage, we will pass it along to others in the area that will be traveling soon after us so either way they will get to the children.

Monday, November 2, 2009

4 Months Old

Our baby boy is four months old today. In three more days he will (if all goes well) officially become a Pell, though he was ours from the moment we saw his picture almost three months ago. I have meant to post each month and missed his two and three month “birthdays”. I think that part of me doesn’t even want to think about these missed days. I can’t pull out a calendar and mark down his accomplishments for the month as I don’t know them. I can’t write something he can read later about his personality or the things he is doing as I don’t know. My heart aches to know him. I remember this feeling when I was carrying my daughter Emma. The month before she was born I was so anxious to just meet her. I felt her, but I didn’t know her. When she came into this world it was instant love but it took a while to really get to know who she was. I feel the same about John. I haven’t felt him, but it is harder as I have seen him in pictures. Not the fuzzy ultrasound kind. But the real clear kind. The kind that changes with each picture that we get. The kind that reminds us that he is really out there getting older and we have not been there to watch this growth. I can’t wait for the day that we will meet. The day we will see with our own eyes our baby we have seen in pictures. The day we will begin to really know him. To know his unique personality. His likes his dislikes. His funny quirks, his gummy smile. Happy four month birthday baby boy…….

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Special Package on its way to Ethiopia

One of the items that we prepared for our court date was an album and letter for John T's birth mother. We sent it to our agency in Portland on Saturday with the hopes that it would get sent to Ethiopia tomorrow and make it to our court date on the 5th (1 week from tomorrow!!!) As our son is from the southern part of Ethiopia, there is a good chance that we will not be able to meet his birth mother while we are there. This album and letter may be the only communication we have with John's birth mother.

We included pictures of our family, our home and all of the photo's we had received of John T.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

A donation has been made in your name......


This past weekend our dear friends Jason and Alisa got married. On Friday, I was at the church helping decorate and Alisa insisted that I read the program. It was a six page program (the neatest program I have seen). I got to the 5th page and teared up. Here is what I found (If you click on it it should blow up so you can read):


Wow....we are so blessed to have such good friends. Thank you Jason and Alisa for allowing the Pell family to be part of your day and for including baby John in such an amazing way!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

When do we leave???

Unfortunately, getting assigned a court date does not mean jumping on a plane tomorrow. We are not present for the court date in Ethiopia so for now we wait (13 days and counting) to find out if John T is officially ours. Here is a run down on the rest of our process:

Passing Court: All of the paperwork that we had prepared last spring is sitting in Ethiopia awaiting our court date. On November 5th, a judge, a social worker, John T's birth mother, and a representative from our adoption agency will appear in court to make a decision on the adoption. In order to pass court, John T’s birth mother will have to make an 8 hour trip to Addis Ababa to be at court. If she is unable to be there or any of our paperwork is not in order, we will not pass court and will be assigned a new court date. We have been told that it is common to not pass court on the first attempt so to be prepared to have to await a second court date. We are of course praying that all will go well and we will pass court on the first attempt. Once we pass court John T. is legally ours!!

Embassy Date: Once we have passed court, we will be given our travel dates. We have been told that we will travel 4-6 weeks after passing court. The only required appointment we will have when in Ethiopia is an appointment at the US Embassy. After passing court, the agency is busy getting his birth certificate, passport, and some other required documents that need to be turned into the US Embassy 2 weeks prior to our appointment. Appointments to the US Embassy are given to our agency twice per month so our travel dates will be based on these appointments. We have been told that if we pass court on November 5th, we will probably travel mid December.

Travel: Once we get our travel dates we make our plane reservations and GO GET OUR BABY BOY! We will leave on a Saturday and arrive back in the states on a Friday. We stay at a hotel that is walking distance from the orphanage and will have John in our arms the first full day we are in country. We literally can not wait for this day!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Court Date!

We have a court date set for November 5th!! So relieved to have a date to look forward to. We have been told that if we pass court on the 5th, we would probably travel mid December. We are praying that he will be home for Christmas!

We also want to say a public THANK YOU to Audrey and Brian (http://ourjourneyjohn1418.blogspot.com) for your support this last week. It was a difficult week of waiting for me. I was of course so happy to hear that other children were going home soon to their forever families but Audrey emailed me and insisted that she was not going to post her good news until we heard ours as they got their referral the same week as we did. Thank you Audrey for your support this week. The women I have "met" through this process on the AGCI listserve and through blogs have been an amazing support system. Thank you to all of you that have been praying and supporting us in the online world. We hope to meet many of you soon in Ethiopia!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Surprise Shower





Last week Emma and I took a trip to Washington State to visit family and to meet my brand new niece, Hailey. My sister (picture below) after having had a baby only three week prior to our trip planned a baby shower for John T. How special is that? Over the past few years, my sister and I have become best friends and she has been such a strong supporter and encourager of our family during this adoption process. Thank you Heidi for throwing us this shower! It meant so much to me!!!

I had to also include a picture of my mom (center) as she co-hosted the shower with my sister. These are the girls in my family (from the left), Emma, me, YaYa, Hailey, Heidi and Hannah. John T. will be the first grandson on my side and has two boy cousins to keep him busy on John's side.

Good friends of ours from college drove from Bellingham and Auburn to visit while Emma and I were in Wenatchee. They were in on the surprise and did a great job of getting me out of the house and back without me having any idea that there was a shower being planned. I had no idea until I heard "SURPRISE" and saw the picture of our sweet boy sitting on the coffee table. Janet, second from right, is also adopting from Ethiopia so it was great to have her there to share her journey as well and to win the Ethiopia trivia game (did much better than me :)



I was able to catch up with old friends and both of baby John's grandmothers were there to celebrate him becoming part of our family (I didn't get a picture of Mimmaw but it was of course so special to have her there as well). Thank you again to Heidi and Mom and to everyone that attended. Can't wait to dress him in the cute outfits and cuddle with him with the soft blankets.......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shots!!

Got my shots today and John is scheduled for his on Friday. We ended up having our insurance changed on October 1st and all but the typhoid (which is in pill form) were covered in our co-pay. Yay!! This was great news as I know a lot of you out there posted that it cost you hundreds of dollars to get these shots. I only had to get two shots today (Hep A and tetanus) and will go back in a couple of weeks for Meningitis so that I don’t have too much in my system at once. We decided to not get the polio as our physician did not think we needed it for where we were going and what we were doing. I also got some helpful tips about traveling that I thought I would pass along:

Altitude sickness: He recommended taking the altitude sickness pills before leaving just in case. The only real cure is to go down in elevation once you are sick and he said they don’t have much of a side effect. I was told to start taking them two days before leaving and then three days after arriving. If they make me sick to my stomach during the first day that I take them, I will know to stop taking them before getting on the plane and will just hope that I am not susceptible to altitude sickness. If there are no side effects, why not take it to make sure our special week with our little boy is not ruined by being sick? He also said lots of water and no alcohol on the plane helps prevent altitude sickness.

Antibiotics: He gave us a prescription for antibiotics to use if we got a fever with any other symptoms of infection (stomach, bladder ect.). We are going to fill it and take it with us just in case.

Ayr Saline Gel: He recommended this for the plane. It is a gel that you put in your nostrils to prevent germs getting into your system during the flight. He said we could use it on our little man on the way home as well. Germs like the dry plane air and the more moisture in your nose, the less chance of catching something. Hmmmm, it seems safe so as long as it doesn’t feel like a constant runny nose we will try it!

Probiotic Align: This is for the stomach and is over the counter. He again recommended starting on this a couple of days before leaving so we are not hit with side effects on the plane. If no side effects, he recommended taking the entire trip and a couple of days after arriving home.

So the week before we leave we will be popping typhoid, altitude sickness, and Probiotic pills to help us during our week in Ethiopia. Hope we can remember all of that in the midst of our flurry to leave……..

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Courts Open......phew....still waiting to hear for us

Good friends of our that are adopting through another agency (reputable US agency) got an email today confirming that the courts did in fact open yesterday! This is great news as it means cases should start moving and hopefully those that have court dates today and tomorrow will pass. It also means that we should be getting assigned a court date in the next couple of weeks. And so again, we wait for the phone to ring to let us know the date that Almaz, the orphanage director, and John T's birthmother will go to court to make the adoption official. We will keep you posted of any new news.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Courts to Open???

The courts were supposed to open sometime last week and were postponed due to training. Ahhhh!! Luckily I was in Washington meeting my 4 week old niece Hailey and visiting family and was highly distracted. I am distracted no more. Bring on the court dates. Everyone is hoping that the courts opened today to hear cases as last weeks cases were rescheduled to the end of October. Our hopes for an October court date are quickly fading. We are still trying to be optimistic for travel in November but it does not look too promising. Hope that I can post our date very soon!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Updates

Update on Baby John T.:

Our case worker called yesterday to let us know that she was sending pictures and answers to some questions that I had asked about our little man. We were on a walk so rushed home and hit refresh on the computer until the e-mail came in. She sent us 50 plus pictures of him!! Some older pictures and some newer ones. His hair has really grown in and he is looking more like a baby instead of an infant. She also let us know he was taken to the eye doctor to what they think is a clogged tear duct which is very common in infants. In fact, Emma had the same thing for about a month when she was a baby. We are of course worried that it could be something more but can’t really do anything else to find out until we bring him back to the states. Hopefully it will just clear up on its own and there will be no worries. The questions I asked about developmental milestones all came back positive. We are hoping that this update holds us over until we get a court date. The courts open next week but we were told to be prepared to wait a while to hear anything as they are really busy when they open back up.

Formula and Diaper Donations:

The donations of formula and diapers have started rolling in. Thank you so much for those of you that have already contributed. One idea I wanted to throw out there: I went to the woman Dr. today for my yearly checkup and just happened to ask if they gave away formula to expectant mothers and if so, if I could have some. I walked away with two cans of formula for free!! I know pediatricians often have this as well. If you are heading to the Dr. any time soon for yourself or your little one and you don’t mind asking, this would be a great (and cheap) way to get formula. If anyone is in Wenatchee and reads this and would like to contribute, Emma and I are going to be in town next week. Just give the donations to someone in my family and we can bring them back with us when we fly back home….

Financial Update:

We are so close!!! Only $900 to go and we will have the amount we need for our next and LAST set of fees. I don’t really have words to express how encouraging this is to us as we wait to know that so many of you are helping us bring our son home in such a real way. Please let me know via email if you will be sending something in so that I can let everyone know when we have reached our goal.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Fundraising Opportunity


Anyone need to order any magazines?!?! A fundraiser has been set up in our name. If your magazine subscriptions are about to expire, or you have been meaning to order a magazine and haven't gotten around to it please follow the link below and you can order your subscriptions online. The great thing is, 40% of every sale goes to our adoption fund!!!

http://www.qsp.com/profile/tffu

These fundraisers are normally set up for schools so if you see any weird wording, you can just ignore. If you know anyone else that might be interested, please pass this link along!

Thanks and thanks to Heather for setting this up for us!

Sarah

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Weeks Until the Courts Open

No news to report but only two weeks until the courts open back up and we HOPEFULLY hear about a court date. We are working on getting our shots, collecting donations for the orphanage, and enjoying time with Emma before baby brother hits the scene. We are still hoping to get a court date in October and travel in November.


Just a reminder to start collecting formula and diapers......November will be here before you know it (I am obviously having an optomistic day today...)!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Great News on the Financial Front!

We applied for a grant through Caroline's Promise and were very hopefull that this would be an avenue to help us reach our goals for our final adoption fees. We found out last week that we did not get this grant and were pretty dissapointed. That same week, our church had decided that they wanted to help us with our adoption by giving us $2,000 toward our final adoption fees. On top of this, the Abba Fund agreed to match up to $750 of our church's giving. So within hours of being dissapointed, we found out that we had been given $2,750 toward our adoption! We are so blessed that we have such amazing people around us that allow God to work through them to encourage us just at the right times.

It looks as though we have about $6,000 of fees remaining to be paid when we travel ($1,000 more than I had previously estimated). This means that with the church's grant and the donations recieved since we last paid fees we have about $2,500 to go. We have been so blessed by all of you that have joined with us in this way. Thank you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A little over a month......

We met our son through pictures and paper a month ago Friday. Since then, we have heard no news on his wellbeing, his growth, his personality, his needs, or just overall how he is doing. We understand that this is just part of adoption but it is so hard. I just want someone to send me something, just a small token of information that will pacify us for another long month of waiting. We haven’t heard any news of a court date and have been told that this probably won’t be given out until after the judges come back from recess on October 5th. Some days aren’t so bad. Other days are very long and hard. Our family feels incomplete, like we are missing someone. Is it possible to miss someone you have never met? Emma talks about her baby brother daily and seems to miss him in her own way as much as we do. We are all ready to be a family of four and hope that these next months pass quickly as we wait for the word that he is in fact ours to keep……

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Orphanage Donations Needed!!


Baby Formula
Powdered, any brand
&
Diapers
smaller sized, any brand


We are gathering diapers and formula to bring with us to help provide for the needs of the orphans at Hannah’s Hope Ethiopia, the orphanage our son is in. These items are hard to come by in Ethiopia and families that travel to pick up their adopted children are the main sources of donations for Hannah’s Hope. Any items given to Hannah’s Hope in excess of need are distributed to the nearby orphanages that are also in desperate need. Therefore, we will be packing light and taking as many extra suitcases as possible filled with formula and diapers.

It is our goal to collect 150 pounds of formula and diapers by November.

If you would like to help please:

Give diapers or formula to John and Sarah Pell and we will pack it with our materials or order these items online and have them shipped to our home. (If you do not live in Greensboro but want to help, please contact us and we will find a creative way to make your donation work).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Package for Our Little Man

On Monday we were able to send a few items to Baby John. We could only send what would fit in a zip lock bag so we sent a photo album, a lovie and a cute little outfit. We heard from our case worker that this will go over to Ethiopia on Monday so should be there for him soon. He is too young to really know anything but we hope that these items bring him some comfort and the pictures make us a little bit more familiar when we arrive to pick him up.

Emma sending some love to her baby brother.


She gave each item a kiss before they went in the bag.



Financial Update: Thanks to the support of family and friends, we have been given $9,756 toward our adoption with $4,244 left to go.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hannah's Hope

The feeling of having a child that you know is out there waiting for you and having no power to act is a pretty indescribable feeling. For those of you that are adopting or already have, you know the feeling that I am talking about. I am a pretty down to earth person. Someone that can easily focus on tasks at hand and ignore things that I can not change. This is completely different. We feel as though a piece of our family is missing. My thoughts and prayers are never far from him as I wait for the powers that be to announce he is ours and can come to live with us. Is is safe? Is he well? Is he scared? Does someone rock him to sleep at night? Does he ache for his birth mother? These are all questions that plague me. My only assurance at this point is that I know that he is being well cared for, or as well cared for as he can be in an orphanage. I was going to write a post about Hannah's Hope but thought this video did a better job explaining the vision behind this orphanage and the loving group of people that brought it about:

Click on http://www.allgodschildren.org/about/videos/

And Go to AGCI - Hannah's Hope Ethiopia

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What Happens Now? and other Questions

Thank you so much for all of your excited phone calls, emails, and comments. We are still floating in the clouds. It has been an indescribable experience. Here are some answers to the questions we have been getting:

What happens now?

We have sent all of our paperwork to our agency officially accepting the referral of our baby boy. They should receive everything that they need on Monday and will inform the orphanage director that we are ready to go forward making this official. All of the international paperwork that we worked on back in the winter has been sitting in Ethiopia waiting for this day. This paperwork along with our sons paperwork will be turned into the Ethiopian court system and we will be given a court date. This can take a week or this can take two months. Once we are given a court date we just wait. The director of the orphanage goes to court in our place so we do not need to be there for court. If we pass court, we travel 2-3 weeks after. If we fail, we wait for a new court date.

Where is our little boy now?

Our little man spent a couple of days in an Ethiopian run orphanage and now is at Hannah's Hope, the orphanage run by our agency. The heart behind this orphanage is to create a safe place for orphans. They keep a three to one ratio for babies and each child has a couple of "special mothers" that care for them to provide consistency of care. I will write an entire post on Hannah's Hope later with more information.

What is his name?

We can not post his given name on our blog but we will name him John T. Pell. His given name will become his middle name. There will be a blog post coming up explaining the importance of his name.

When do we expect to travel?

It is our hope/expectation/desire to get a court date in October and travel in November. We will know more when we get a court date.

Where are we at with our finances for this adoption?

Our estimate for total adoption costs is $26,000. As of Friday, $21,000 has been paid. This leaves us with $5,000 left to be paid by October.

Thank you so much for all of you that have supported our adoption in this way! Of the $21,000 paid, $9,080 of this was through donations from family and friends! Baby John is so blessed to have you all in his life.....

**If you have sent us a donation and have not either heard from us or gotten a thank you card please let us know. We have had some issues with funds not going to our account. If you have heard from us, all of the donated money has gone toward our fees.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Call

I was sitting at my desk at work when my phone rings. I have it on silent so as to not disturb those around me with the ringing but that then requires me to look at it every 5 seconds to see if it has or is ringing. I looked down and saw an unfamiliar number on the phone. I have been getting calls from solicitors on my cell phone lately so I thought it was probably another call. I answered, just in case, and was caught off guard when I heard Christy's (our case worker) voice on the other end. She got right down to business and said that she has some exciting news for us. I grabbed a pad of paper and went into an office and shut the door so I could concentrate. I tried to conference in John but OF COURSE his phone was not on and we don't have a land line. I knew he was home as it was Emma's nap time but couldn't get ahold of him. I went ahead and let Christy tell me on the phone about the little boy that would become part of our family. Due to privacy issues, I can't disclose all of the details now but he is a healthy one month old little boy and his given name means Wisdom....pretty big word for such a little man. I was able to absorb about 1/2 of what Christy was telling me the whole time thinking....why isn't John picking up his phone?? I got off the phone, grabbed my stuff and rushed home to open the email as a family. I got ahold of John on my way out of the office so he was ready when I got home.



John, Emma and I sat on the couch, pulled up my email and saw the first pictures of our little boy. We told Emma this was her baby brother and she kept saying "more bahbi buder". We got four pictures of him which I have looked at too many times to count. This all happened around 3pm. We sent some emails, updated our blog, sent pictures to be printed at Costco then headed out to the store to buy him his first outfit.....pictures to come.



I had already planned to get my haircut with a friend of mine and thought about canceling but was bouncing off the walls and John encouraged me to go and gush on my way. The haircut didn't end up happening but we did pick the pictures up at Costco and I was able to go on and on with Alisa about our precious little boy.



That evening there was an event at a local Christian High School with various people from around the state advocating for orphan care and global awareness. I decided to keep my plans for going and was sooooo glad that I did. I met a man from Ethiopia there that was able to tell me how to pronounce our son's name and also what it meant. What a blessing!!!



I came home and collapsed. Exhausted after such a full day. It was wonderful. He is more than we could have ever hoped for. We already feel so blessed to have him become part of our family....

Our Little Boy

We got the call yesterday that we have been anxiously awaiting! We have met our baby boy. He is only a month old. He is beautiful. He is perfect. We are in love. I will post more soon. Now time to go stare at his picture again.........

We are not allowed to post pictures or his given name on the blog for privacy reasons until he is officially ours. A hand will have to do for now. But isn't it a cute hand?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Official August Numbers

We got our monthly update with our referral numbers today and we are officially......
This means that there was only one infant boy referral last month which we knew. I have been going between checking my email every two minutes to staring at my phone just knowing it is going to ring any minute. You know how a pot won't boil if you are staring at it? I don't think a phone will ring if you are looking at it either. If you call me and I sound disappointed when I answer, it is not you.....it is this. The anticipation of meeting our son. The little man that will call us mom and dad and call Emma sister. I am not really sure how to describe this feeling of waiting. It is a lot harder than I anticipated being so close and knowing that at any minute, all will be dropped and a celebration will begin in our family. And we haven't even been waiting very long. I can't imagine what a really long wait must feel like.......

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

His Mother

I lay in bed awake at night thinking about our son. Our sweet baby boy that is almost certainly been born and is probably tucked into bed with several other children in an orphanage. It is my hope that he has already arrived at Hannah's Hope, the orphanage that is run by our agency. I imagine him exploring his new environment and being loved on by the special mothers that make Hannah's Hope a safe place to be for orphaned children. As I think of him, my mind automatically goes to his birth mother, her possible circumstances and what she must be feeling having just given up a most precious gift of her child. Either by choice or by necessity, this must be one of the hardest moments in her life. Her body probably still shows some signs of the pregnancy. Daily reminders of the pain she has endured. Chances are that AIDS or some other disease has weakened her to the point of being unable to care for her sweet baby. She looks to those around her for help to find that everyone else is also in this same plight. What kind of world do we live in where a mother is not able to care for her baby? Where one country has so little in terms of basic needs while another country bursts with wealth? Where one country is being destroyed by a disease that another country has the drugs to subdue? These are the thoughts that I struggle with on a daily basis. What can be done so that less mothers have to make this enormous sacrifice? What can I do to help not only the children but the mothers as well?

I yoyo between the feelings of excitement and sorrow as I look ahead to the amazing gift of life that our family is about to receive but also reflect on the sacrifices and injustice that have occurred to make this gift a reality.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Unofficially Number One

I swore that I was not going to post any unofficial numbers as it would drive me crazy. I also swore to myself that I would not spend hours "blog stalking" to find out if we had moved up the list. I broke my promise. Thanks to my massive amount of time blog stalking, I discovered today that we are unofficially number one on the boy list. This is exciting news that we couldn't keep to ourselves. Hope to have even more exciting news in the near future.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Happens from Here??

We found out we were number 2 on the boy list the day before we left for a week long beach vacation with my family which is why we haven't really posted much in the last couple weeks. Needless to say, we were overjoyed to find this out and it is still keeping us pretty excited when we look at each other each day and say "Number 2, can you believe it??"

So what happens now??

1.) We wait to get a call from our case worker, Christy, letting us know that she has a baby boy to introduce us to. This could happen tomorrow, this could happen a week from now, this could happen two months from now.

2.) When we get the call, we will be provided with all of the information they have about our little boy. Pictures, videos, medical information, family background. We will be sent an email and overnighted a hard copy of all of this information.

3.) We will then send the medical information to an international physician who reviews it and conferences with us to answer questions and explain the information given.

4.) Once we send our acceptance paperwork to our adoption agency, our dossier (international paperwork) will be turned into the Ethiopian court system with a request for a court date.

Steps 1-4 happen very quickly, normally within a week.

5.) We wait for the Ethiopian court system to grant us a court date. These are given out as quickly as a month from submission or as long as three months. The courts will close in Ethiopia for the rainy season during August and September so this could slow things down for us getting a court date.

6.) On our court date, a representative from our adoption agency goes to court for us. If we pass court, our little boy is officially ours. If we don't pass court, we wait for another court date (normally given out within a month of the first one)

7.) Once we pass court, we travel two weeks later!!

Our Estimated Timeline (this of course could change drastically):

Referral of baby boy: August
Court Date: November
Travel: November or early December

Friday, July 10, 2009

July Referral List Number

We got our official numbers today and flew up the list this month. We are officially number......



on the boy list and number 20 on the girl list.

This means we could get a referral any day!!! (or it could take a couple months) We are so close.....

Thanks to the support of family and friends, we have been given $7,968 toward our adoption with $8,032 left to go.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Some Thoughts As We Wait

As the weeks go on, and the paperwork process is over, I have had a lot more time to reflect on our upcoming adoption. When John and I set out to grow our family through adoption, our hearts were set on becoming home to a child that needed a family. We were not set on what country this child would come from, whether domestic or foreign, but instead on finding where the need was and responding. Our decision to adopt from Ethiopia was based on the need within the country for families to adopt orphans and the ability for us to move through the correct channels to make this happen (see earlier post on why Ethiopia). We did not look up the statistics on orphans in Ethiopia nor did we see a video or hear a talk that compelled us to choose Africa. We just knew we wanted to be a family for an orphan and looked for how we could make this happen.

While my heart has always ached for children that do not have loving and supportive homes, I have never been particularly moved by any specific group of orphans. As the months go on, I have found my heart begin to grow not only for the child that we will be bringing home from Ethiopia, but for all of the others that will remain in institutions, desperate for a family to love them the way they deserved to be loved. The book that I mentioned in the last post, "there is no me without you", has served to really educate me about Ethiopia and the circumstances around the influx of orphans in this country. Here are some of the questions that I have had that I felt were answered through reading this book:

Why does Ethiopia have so many orphans? Wouldn't it be better for them to stay and be raised by Ethiopian parents instead of white Americans?

Ethiopia has so many orphans because of the AIDS pandemic. According to this book, "Historically, close kinship ties in our [Ethiopia] country meant that there were very few orphans as orphaned children were raised by their extended families. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has destroyed so many of our families that the possibility no longer exist to absorb all our Ethiopian orphans."

Is adoption the answer? What about poverty and the AIDS crisis?

No, adoption is not the answer for all of the orphans in Africa. Keeping the parents alive to care for their children is the answer. But for those children that have lost their parents, or their parents are not able to care for them long term, adoption is a way to give hope to individual children. The world has begun to respond to the AIDS crisis in Africa and it is our hope that there will be less and less orphans in need of a home. Until then, we want to do what we can for at least one child.

Doesn't a mother with AIDS mean a child with HIV?

Without medication, one in every four children will test positive for HIV if their mother is a carrier. With medication, this percentage is only 2%.

I will again highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a novel that gives amazing insight into the life of orphans and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. I hope to continue to learn more about what we can do for the orphans around the globe as we believe that every child should know the love of a parent on a daily basis.

Monday, June 15, 2009

there is no me without you

I have just started reading this book and already can't put it down. It was highly recommended to me by several families that have or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia and I am sooooo glad that I have finally picked it up to read. It is the true story of an Ethiopian woman that saw the need to love and care for the orphans around her and took it upon herself to help. It is written in story form but is full of Ethiopian history and information regarding the AIDS epidemic in Africa. I highly recommend that you read this book and would be happy to pass it along once I am finished with it (at this rate probably tomorrow). I will post some of the quotes and ideas from the book soon but need to get back to my reading before my daughter wakes up.....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garage Sale A Success

We woke up at 5:30 AM to put out all of the garage sale items and had our first customer at 6:15. Why anyone wants to get up that early to look at other peoples junk I have no idea. We had our yard covered and had a lot of people show up for the sale. Thanks to all of the donations of goods, we made.......



$588!!!


Special thanks for Lee and Stacey, Kristen and Justin and Will and Vicki for coming out to help us set up and tear down. Also to Ashley who did an amazing job babysitting Emma during the sale (even got her to go down for her nap by herself!)

Thanks to the support of family and friends, we have been given $7,968 toward our adoption with $8,032 left to go.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Approved by USCIS

About a month ago we went to Raleigh to be fingerprinted by USCIS as part of our approval process for adoption from Ethiopia. We got our letter in the mail today stating that we have been approved by United States Immigration to adopt a child from Ethiopia. This is great news as sometimes this process takes longer than expected and/or can have some glitches. Just one more step closer.....

Garage Sale is tomorrow! Please pray that the thunder storms let up tonight and tomorrow morning and that we have a great turn out. We have lots of stuff to sell, now just need lots of people to sell it to!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Official June Referral Numbers

We got our email update today and are officially number.........................


on the boy list. This means that two baby boys were placed with loving families in the past three weeks and we are just that much closer to being introduced to our baby. I can now stop checking my email every 5 minutes, at least until next month....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Garage Sale Update and Waiting

Garage Sale:

Items for our garage sale this coming weekend have started filling up our front porch and basement. We have already had seven families drop off items and four more families tell us that they have items to give plus all of the stuff we have to sell from our own "collection". But of course, we have room for more if anyone has anything that they would like us to take off their hands. We will sell what we can and take the items to Urban Ministry and Goodwill if we can not get it sold unless you want the items back. As long as the weather holds out for us in the morning, it looks like it is going to be a great sale!

Waiting:

I have been reading a lot of adoption blogs over the last couple of months (blog spying as many call it) and most have said that one of the hardest parts of the adoption process is waiting. Being a planner and someone that likes to be in control, I have found this to be very true. We got on the list for a referral on May 15th and then were told we would get an update on how far we had moved up the list at the beginning of each month. Well June 1st came and went with me checking my email every 10 minutes....no news, then June 2nd checking email every 15 minutes....no news, June 3rd limiting myself to every hour...no news, June 4th back to every ten minutes....no news and on and on. We still haven't heard anything about how many referrals have gone out in the last month so are just waiting for the monthly email from our case worker giving us our "numbers". Fortunatley, the process of adopting has gone very smoothly for us and much quicker than we expected. Even with this, I am obsessed with getting whatever information I can. I am hoping as the months go by, I can mellow out and just get the information as it comes. Probably not, but one can hope....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Garage Sale or Calling all Pack Rats

We are going to be having a garage sale on June 13th to raise money toward our remaining adoption fees. If you have any items that we can take off your hands, please let us know:

Email: sarahpdiane@yahoo.com
Phone: 360.220.5382
Or commenting on this blog

We will arrange a time to come and get it or you can just drop it by the house.

Thanks!

No new information on the where we are on the wait list. We should get a call sometime this week letting us know if we have moved up. We have heard this is a pretty quite time of waiting but will keep you posted as soon as we know anything more.

Thanks to the support of family and friends, we have been given $7,280 toward our adoption with $8,720 left to go. Almost halfway there!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Adoption Newsletter #2

It is pretty hard to read the letter unless you blow it up so here is the body of the letter for those of us that hate squinting at the computer screen..........

Dear Family and Friends,

We wanted to write and inform you of our progress with the adoption and there is quite a lot of exciting news to share. We have completed our home study, fingerprinting, and necessary clearances. That means as of last week we were officially placed on the referral list. While the adoption agency cannot say with certainty when we will receive our referral, it may be as soon as July, which would put the completion of the adoption in the fall. It is difficult to express how excited we are about the prospect of traveling in October or November to Ethiopia and meeting our son or daughter.

While our central focus during this process has been preparing our home and hearts for our new child, we have also spent a good deal of time trying to collect information and record our process so that we might serve as a resource for others who may choose to adopt in the future. Finances are a large part of this process and it has been our hope to be transparent in this area in order to be an encouragement to others that may be thinking about adopting but are overwhelmed by the high cost. It saddens us to think that finances would come between an orphan and a loving home.

While we are limited in our finances, we have seen the generosity of family and friends as they partner with us. As a family we are continuing to save, but we also have a number of fundraisers planned for the summer, including a multi-family yard sale and a benefit concert with Songs of Water. Currently, we will need to raise another $10,500 (this includes final travel to Ethiopia.) While the sum seems overwhelming, and at times too great to meet, we are humbled and encouraged by the ways God has provided, often through those reading this letter, and are certain that money will not stand in the way of a child receiving a family.

If you would like to help us with the cost of bringing our child home, you can go to our blog at www.thestoryofafamily.blogspot.com and donate online or send a check made out to “The Abba Fund” to our home and we will make sure it gets where it needs to go:

Thank you so much for your interest and support through this process.

Blessings,

Sarah, John and Emma Pell


Adoption Newsletter #2

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

We are Officially on the List!

We got the official call from our case worker yesterday to let us know that we are on the list for a referral of a baby boy or girl, whichever is available first. We are so excited to take this next step!! Our official numbers are:



for a boy under 12 months old (estimated wait time for a referral 2-4 months)



for a girl under 12 months old (estimated wait time for a referral 8-9 months)


So as you can see, we are planning on a boy which we are very excited about. Now we wait. We will get a call from our case worker each month letting us know our new official numbers as we move up the list. And then once we get our referral, there is a flurry of paperwork to fill out and then we wait for our court date and to pick up our little boy. They estimate the time between getting a referral and picking up your child to be 3-5 months. So our total wait time from now until we go get our son is 5-9 months sometime between October and February.

Thanks to the support of family and friends, we have been given $4,555 toward our adoption with $10,350 left to go.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fingerprints and "The List"

As you know from our last post, all of our paperwork has been turned in and we are now waiting to have enough funds to pay our next set of fees. These fees pay for the translation of our documents to be sent to Ethiopia along with court fees and the fees paid to the Ethiopian government. Thanks to the generosity of others, we have been given $4,405 toward our adoption. This money along with our tax return refund has brought us to the place of taking the next step......getting on the list! We are now waiting for the check to make it through the mail and arrive at our agency. We are hoping to get a call on Monday confirming that we are officially on the list!

One of the items that is required for international adoption is a "Favorable Determination Letter" from US Immigration. In order to get this letter, you have to fill out an application, pay a fee and get fingerprinted. The fingerprints are done in Durham (about an hour away) and of course are by appointment only (appt. chosen by the government, not us). We got our letters in the mail today and we will get our fingerprints done on May 18th. After this, it takes about 30 days to process our information and then hopefully we will be approved by the US to adopt a child from Ethiopia. Just another small step toward getting our little one home.

As of today, we have been given $4,405 toward the cost of the adoption with $10,500 to go. Thank you so much for your support!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dossier Accepted!


Our dossier, the information to be sent to Ethiopia, has been reviewed by our agency and approved. This means that as soon as we are able to pay our next set of fees, we are on the list to get a referral!! And it also means a big break from the paperwork.
What happens once we get on the list??
Children are referred to AGCI, our adoption agency, by the government orphanages based on need in Ethiopia. Once a family is able to complete their home study and international paperwork, they are able to get on the wait list to receive a referral of one of these children. As of now, there are 8 families waiting for an infant boy and 28 families waiting on an infant girl. The average wait time for a referral of an infant boy has been 1-3 months while the wait time for an infant girl is 8-9 months. So, it looks like we will be adopting a little boy, which we are very excited about.
The times can vary quickly based on the needs in Ethiopia so we are not counting on any timelines but it is looking like we may have a referral in the next three months and then will be waiting 4-5 months for a court date to be able to finalize the adoption in Ethiopia.
As of today, we have been given $3,500 toward the cost of the adoption with $12,500 to go. Thank you so much for your support!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Final Home Study Received!!

We got copies of our final home study in the mail today!!  All of our paperwork items have been checked off our list.  What a relief.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting......


We haven't posted for a couple weeks and unfortunately we don't have much to report.  We are still waiting for a final copy of our home study to send off with our immigration paperwork and our dossier.  Everything has been copied, signed, notarized, kissed and is just waiting this final piece.  We were promised a copy today but it is now almost three so it isn't looking good.  It has been nice to have a bit of a break from all of the business of the paperwork.  We have heard that adopting is made up of a lot of waiting so I guess we are just getting our first taste of it.

On a financial note, we have been given $1,225 toward our adoption.  Thank you so much for helping in this way!!  

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Seeds of Hope Banquet


Last week we were invited to intend a benefit dinner for an organization based in Greensboro called Caroline's Promise (http://www.carolinespromise4u.com/). The purpose of Caroline’s Promise is to Reclaim Hope for Orphans through adoptive family assistance, orphan care and educating the community about adoption.



It was very encouranging to spend an evening with others that share our same passion for adoption. We heard many heartbreaking stories of children finding homes with others and were made even more aware of the needs of children around the world.



Update On Our Progress



We have turned in everything for our home study and are waiting for it to be finalized. We are hoping to get the thumbs up in the next two weeks. Once our home study is finalized, it is forwarded to our placement agency and then our paperwork can be sent to Ethiopia. To take the next step and begin the international process we are required to make a payment of $6000. We are hoping that through our continued personal savings, fundraising activities and the generosity of our family and friends we will be able to to make this next payment and continue on our journey.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Adoption Newsletter

Many of you have received this newsletter via email. If you did not and you would like to be added to our email list, please reply to this post with your information and we would be happy to send you a copy. Thank you so much for following our journey!

Adoption Newsletter 03.16.09

Abba Fund Donor Preference Card

If you would like help us by sending a check to the Abba Fund in the mail, please print and fill out this form so that the money is allocated to our account. To Print this form, click on "more" in the bar above the below document and a drop down menu will allow you to print.

Thank you!

The Pells

Abba Fund Donor Preference Card