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.


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!