Monthly Archives: January 2008

The gift of family

As I sit here this morning I am reminded of how blessed I am to have been raised in a Christian family.  Also how wonderful it was to grow up in the same state (Maine) as all of my cousins on my dad’s side.  I have 15 cousins and 4 sets of Uncles and Aunts in Maine that I was priviledged to have great relationships with.  I was able to watch these family members live out lives that honored God and were full of His grace.  I was also fortunate to be able to yearly travel to Ohio for memorable vacations with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins on my mom’s side.

This is family that has supported me prayerfully and financially on many mission trips.  Family that often welcomed me into their homes and lives at various times.  Family that has given me wise godly counsel.  For this I am very grateful. 

Now, as Joshua and I prepare to begin our immediate family I am again overwhelmed by the generosity of family.  The care and support shown to us is overwhelming. 

Aunt Debbie and Uncle Mark sent a fabulous card that fondly congratulated us on becoming Parents to be:

Parents to be: Sleepless, Stressed out, and Pooped on.  But most importantly, Parents to be blessed!  =)

How blessed indeed I feel.  Thank you family!

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Accepted!

Hello!  Congratulations on your application approval and welcome to America World! 

These are the words I have waited for such a long time to hear!  God is good, faithful, and so kind!  I was ecstatic to receive this email today and we ask that you prayerfully join us as we begin this exciting journey!!!!  

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Extravagant Kindness

Last evening Joshua walked in the door and told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands.  Upon opening my eyes I found I was holding a card with a little baby carriage on it.  (Yes, I started crying right then)  This was the first card we have received congratulating us on the adoption.  When I opened up the card I discovered enclosed a check of beyond extravagant value.  As I wiped away the tears to continue reading the kind words inscribed on the page this is what I read,

“We hope that this gift will, in a small way, remind you of your heavenly Father’s extravagant love and care for you both, and will contribute toward adopting a child.”

We are indeed reminded!  The words of “How Deep the Father’s Love” have been resonating in my mind all morning.

How deep the Father’s love for us.  How vast beyond all measure.  That He should give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure.  How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turns His face away.  As wounds which mar the Chosen One, bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross.  My sin upon His shoulders.  Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers.  It was my sin that held Him there, until it was accomplished.  His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything.  No gifts, no power, no wisdom.  But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.  Why should I gain from His reward?  I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom!

 May we all be reminded of God’s extravagant, deep love and kindness towards us today.

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Application Submitted

Well, our application was submitted to AWAA over the weekend and I dropped off our application fee on Monday.  What an emotional step that was.  I’m not sure why, but I just had to call Josh as soon as I turned in the check.  Just to say, “I did it, it’s official now.”  Weird.  Anyhow, now we wait while they process our application.  We’ll know in about 2 weeks whether or not we’ve been accepted into the Ethiopia program. 

I didn’t think it would be this difficult at first.  But somehow knowing that there is a pregnant woman in Ethiopia contemplating the surrender of her child, or that there’s a young infant in an orphanage that will be ours is really emotionally challenging.  It makes me pray alot!

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When Love Takes You In

This is a Steven Curtis Chapman music video about adoption.  We are daily reminded of how we have been adopted into the family of God.  Enjoy!

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American World Adoption Agency

We have decided to use American World Adoption Agency which has its coorporate headquarters here in McLean, VA.  They are a Christian agency that works in six different nations facilitating adoptions.  Here is how AWAA describes their Ethiopian Adoption Program:

HISTORY
Ethiopia is the only African country that was not colonized as various European nations scrambled to divide and rule Africa. With the brief exception of the Italian occupation from 1936-1941, Ethiopia has remained an independent nation.

With a population of nearly 75 million people, there is an assorted collection of food, languages, customs and people groups. Ethiopia also contains a diverse landscape, including parts of the Nile River and the Great Rift Valley. As an East African landlocked country, Ethiopia is bordered by Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Ethiopia, an ancient Christian nation, has deep-rooted Ethiopian Orthodox customs and practices. The Judaic-Christian roots of Ethiopia can be found in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Today, about half the population of Ethiopia is Christian.

Unfortunately, this country that is about twice the size of Texas has an estimated 4.3 million orphans. The children are primarily orphaned due to poverty, and live in both government-run and privately established orphanages.

PROCESS
Ethiopia’s international adoption process is relatively inexpensive and uncomplicated. After filling out an application, receiving approval through America World’s intake process, and signing an Agreement with America World, prospective parents initiate what we call the “paper chase,” which takes 4-6 months to complete. During this stage of the adoption, families begin assembling their dossier (or set of adoption paperwork). America World assigns each family a personal Family Coordinator to help them compile their dossier, which includes a home study and approval from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Before America World can submit a family’s dossier to the Ethiopian government’s Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, it must be sent through a careful process of certification and authentication in order for it to be used as a legal framework for adoption. Certification and authentication is a three-step procedure in which dossier documents visit their respective Secretaries of State, the U.S. Department of State, and Ethiopia’s Embassy in Washington, D.C. Family Coordinators will assist families through this process as well. The authentication process concludes the paper chase, and America World delivers the finished dossier to the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs.

Once the dossier is in Ethiopia, it is translated, processed and examined by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs. Our staff works with government officials and orphanages as a match is made between prospective parents and a child. Prospective parents typically wait 3-7 months before receiving a referral of a child from Ethiopia. These parents are given a picture, medical test results and a socio-biographical sketch of the child’s life. All children are tested for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and other medical conditions. Prospective parents are given the option to accept or reject the child referral they receive. America World plans travel arrangements for families choosing to accept their referral.

The in-country stay in Ethiopia is generally about one week long. America World’s staff will coordinate travel logistics, including air and ground transportation, lodging, translators, and some meals. Families fly into the capital city, Addis Ababa, where they are assisted by an America World representative. During their stay, adoptive parents visit the U.S. consulate in Addis Ababa to receive their child’s visa.

America World is pleased to be able to offer families the opportunity to adopt from this beautiful African nation, and we are also eager to partner with others in our commitment to provide humanitarian aid and sustainable development projects for orphans’ welfare in Ethiopia. Your decision to adopt through America World will not only change your life and the life of the child you adopt — but will also affect the life of your friends, family and community.

We believe that our adoption program in Ethiopia offers a great opportunity to build families through God’s plan of adoption. Our Ethiopia program staff is experienced and ready to help and serve your family in your adoption.

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