Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun with Calendars

So, how long have we been in the Ethiopian program now? Long enough that one would think we would have heard that Ethiopia has a different calendar than us. Really. We never knew this.
Then, back on September 11th I started reading on adoption blogs -- yes, that's all I ever seem to do in my spare time these days! Its a sickness, I know. -- about that day being the Ethiopian New Years and that they are seven years behind us. Next, I come to find out that their calendar year has only ten months. How interesting is that? Confusing, too, I might add, because this plays into the calculation of the age of your adopted child. The people that know how to convert the birth date and age and all that business have my admiration, because that's just too much math for me! There are, however, handy online date-conversion calculators, one of which is here. If you have oh-so-much spare time like me, you can calculate your birth date according to the Ethiopian calendar. (ex. my birth date translates from 06/76 to 10/68) Or you can just use this handy piece of geographical trivia to amaze your friends.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Courts Opened Today!

Courts are open! This means that cases can be processed again. Families with referrals will have their cases go to court in Ethiopia. After passing the courts, they will be given travel dates. As families travel to pick up their children, more room opens up for children at Hannah's Hope. That means more families can be connected with their children-to-be. This is, of course, a very general description of what happens. Its much more complicated. (Referrals aren't directly and that simply connected to space at HH, but there is a bit of logic in it.) But, the opening of court is a reason for all in the adoption waiting process to rejoice nonetheless.

Speaking of waiting, we've passed the 3 month mark on the girls' wait list. When we first started in the Ethiopia program, we were given a 4-6 month wait time. Now its around 6-8 months, which is still incredibly short -- believe it or not -- in the adoption world. At the actual rate that things are going right now, we could very well receive a referral by 6 months -- but there are no guarantees. Everything seems so much longer though because we've been at this so long. All told it will be three years this Thanksgiving since we first applied to adopt. Ugh. Well, it goes without saying that God knows why the timing has worked like it has...and we already see the providence in much for it. But three years is still a very long time to be "expecting"!

And speaking of expecting, if all goes as it has in the past, we should be receiving our THIRD and final -- hopefully! -- FDL in the mail this week. Pray that they corrected that silly mistake on there, because while it won't make or break our case, its just one more unknown that could bug some official somewhere and prolong the process. Yuck.

We should also get our official, updated wait list number this week. We're pretty confident that we're Number 14, but only the Powers That Be (ie. Julie) know for sure!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayers for Abby

So while I'm sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I've been following the blogs of other AGCI families. The ones I really love to read are those who have brought little girls home -- because someday that's going to be me, but I also enjoy those of folks who are still enduring the wait right alongside me. And then there is the Riggs family. I've been following their blog for months now. The Riggs are true examples of what it means to parent and grow your family in obedience to God even in the face of adversity. One of the children they have adopted -- a little girl named Abby -- was fairly recently diagnosed with leukemia. Since her diagnosis, there has been no end to the trials this family has had to endure. This week in partcular has been particularly heart-wrenching. Please, remember them in your prayers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bring on the Referrals!

In one crazy week, there have been at least 3 refarrals of little girls and at least 2 baby boy referrals. Potentially, that would move us up to Number 15 on the wait list. I can't believe how much movement there is right now. At this rate, especially once the courts open in a few weeks, we may have our referral by New Years!

I think it might be time to get serious about our fundraising! Yikes!

Our congratulations to Autumn, Melissa, Kami, and Shannon -- and the other mommy whose name I don't know! We are rejoicing with you!

EDIT: Since I posted this morning, there has been another referral! Congrats to Bethany! Gracious, we're like up to Number 14 now! (Unofficially!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moments of Gratitude

It may seem odd to feel such a strong sense of longing for a child you've never met or even seen, but strangely enough, its very real. I guess when God moves the heart to adopt, He also starts to build that bond from the very beginning. That being the case, the long months of waiting can really take a toll on a mommy-to-be. Ethiopia has a court closure for the months of August and September that results in two months of little to no movement in the adoption world -- and I am really feeling burdened for those who are so close to uniting with their child, but are stuck in limbo. A fellow AGCI blogger chose to create a lost of 25 things for which she is grateful, in the hopes that others would join in. (I really need to create a blogroll of all these wonderful families who have adopted or are adopting. It is such a blessing to have a way of connecting with them! Hmm...maybe I'll make that my #1!)

25 Things for Which I am Grateful Today (in no particular order)

1. Other adoptive families who encourage me, inspire me, and pray with me
2. My son's school
3. Time with my youngest son
4. The uncharacteristically beautiful weather we're having here in Washington State
5. My husband's job
6. My best friend and biggest fan -- my husband
7. The health of my family and extended family
8. My home
9. The luxuries of food and clothing
10. My parents and extended family
11. Our church and the friends I have made there
12. My mentor and Bible study partner
13. Our crazy pets
14. Living near the mountains AND the ocean
15. Our cars (and the money to fuel them)
16. The ability to read and write
17. Being spared the agony of limbo in the Vietnam program (we changed programs just months before the closure of adoptions in Vietnam -- in ignorance of what was about to happen)
18. How quickly we've moved up the waiting list! 11 spots in 2 months? Not bad!
19. My quirky brave eldest son
20. My goofy sweet youngest son
21. Our "baby sister" (as the boys call her) who we will meet someday soon
22. The burden of my son's autism (I stole this idea from Sunny too, because its soo true. It is quite simply amazing how the Lord refines us and draws us near in our suffering.)
23. The folks at Children's Therapy Center
24. Dr O and Dr K, who helped when nobody else could
25. My precious Jesus, Who is teaching me every day what it means to love Him

With that said, bring on October!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Number

We got our update phone call today. We are officially number....

How is that for exciting?! And I really needed some good news today. I was really surprised. I was guessing we'd be closer to 21 or so. This means that five families have accepted some sort of referral in the last month. Some families are waiting for a boy OR a girl, some are waiting for a toddler girl, some may opt for a waiting child (older, sibling group, or with special needs). Ironically, the wait can get longer as you move up the list because as you get closer to the top, preferences are getting more specific. But for now, #18 is a pretty darn good place to be!