Wednesday February 27th was a monumental day in the continuing of our adoption. We turned in our agreements and initial payment to America World. There’s no turning back now! =) We were contacted Thursday by the agency social worker to begin our homestudy process. We will begin our orientation Monday March 17th! This meeting will be held at the agency office with other adopting parents and is a 3 hour informational meeting on the ins-and-outs of paperwork collection and home standards for our visit with the social worker.
Please keep us in your prayers as we are needing to move. Our apartment lease is not up until the end of July and we are unable to begin our paperwork collection at our current address and finish it up at a different one. Also the home visit must be done in the home the child will be coming to. So we are at a standstill per say until we are in the place we will be bring a child into. There are a few different ways this could be worked out, we just need wisdom to know which to pursue. We are trusting God for His perfect timing in all of this. So if you think of it, please make time to pray that God would quickly move us out of our apartment and into a house/apartment (preferably near Joshua’s office), so that we can continue to move along with our adoption. Or that we would have great patience to wait if that is not His plan.
***UPDATE*** We have decided to stay in our apartment until after we bring home our children. Therefore we will be renewing our lease in July. This decision has allowed us to proceed with our adoption in a more timely manner.
Joshua and I were introduced to Ethiopian Cuisine Saturday evening. We planned to have our Valentine dinner out at an Ethiopian restaurant and what a memorable evening it will be for many years to come. Hopefully more Ethiopian dinners out will follow! =) We both really enjoyed our meal.
Here are some pictures:
(Note: Many of my description of items comes from the Bradt Guide to Ethiopia. A book given to me by Joshua that I have found to be a great help and Wikipedia.)
Ethiopians eat family style all sharing and eating off of one central plate. Also there is NO silverware. Everything is eaten with your hands. This is accomplished by tearing off pieces of injera- a large pancake shaped substance made from tef, a nutty tasting grain that is unique to Ethiopia. The tef dough is fermented for up to three days before it is cooked, the result of which is a foamy spongy texture and a slightly sour taste.
We ordered two different entrees: Doro wat and Yebeg Tibs. Doro wat is the official national dish of Ethiopia. It is the central item on the plate. Doro wat is Amharic for chicken stew. Chicken legs are typically marinated in lemon juice then sautéed in butter and seasoned with garlic, onions, fresh ginger and then the pieces are coated with red pepper sauce and cooked gently until tender and served with a hard-boiled egg. Yebeg tibs are cubed lamb sautéed with onion,rosemary,tomato,jalapeno pepper,served with vegetables and spicy awaze sauce on the side.
Pictured above is Baklava- a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped walnuts or pistachios and sweetened with syrup or honey. (a common Ethiopian dessert)
We finished off the evening with a wonderful Ethiopian espresso. Coffee is very central in Ethiopian culture as it is said to be the birth place of coffee. Traditionally coffee is served in a special coffee ceremony where the fresh coffee beans are roasted right there and then ground, and boiled in a special clay pot. Now that is a fresh cup of coffee! While we dined the manager and another lady whom I think may have been the owner stopped by our table to see how we were doing. We were invited to come back for a special coffee ceremony that they have every Sunday from 12:00- 6:00 in the afternoon.
We hope that this small introduction to Ethiopian culture will open up many continued opportunities to expand our understanding. We are excited for how God continues to prepare us for joining our hearts with this amazing country.