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

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 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 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.......