Monthly Archives: March 2008

Adopting 2 Children

For about the last month we have been praying about the possibility of adopting more then one child.  To some this seems outrageous, insane, crazy. . . yes, we know that it will be A LOT of work bringing two children into our home instead of just one infant.  But with that said, we find our hearts opening up more and more each day to the tremendous need for families for the millions of orphans in our world.  God has softened our hearts to not just take an easy road but be challenged in our faith and trust in His provision. 

The way this will work is that we will make a request for 2 children under the age of 3 with one of the children under 12 months.  It is our hope that we will be referred siblings, but this isn’t always possible so we may receive two children in this age range that are not related.  It is also possible though that we will still only be referred one child, or have the option of accepting the referral of one child instead of two. 

Please keep us in our prayers as we continue down this exciting road of adoption! 

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I was very brave!

Despite the fact that for a number of years in my childhood I received weekly allergy shots I have a deep fear of having blood drawn and IV’s.  Shots are fine but needles in my veins CREEP me out!!!  So. . . today was the day of my physical for our adoption and I had to have blood drawn.  Somehow though knowing that I wasn’t just doing this for my own general well-being because a doctor said so, but because I knew that somewhere many months down the road this small step would help place a child in my arms made all the difference! 

I was brave!!

ethiopian-kids

ethiopian-kids

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Good news

Throughout the process of adoption I find it very easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done.  There are Doctor’s appointments to be made, financial statements, reference letters and the list goes on.  So when I get some “good news” that our process just got easier and faster there is much reason to rejoice! 

AWAA (our adoption agency) heard from the Department of State yesterday, that for the Ethiopian Embassy each document NO longer  needs to be individually notarized and certified. One dossier cover sheet can be notarized stating the authenticity of all of the documents in our dossier.  Our dossier can now be apostiled and bundled under one certification. Meaning ONE certification from OUR state can cover the entire bundle of documents!!!

To people not adopting this might not make a lot of sense but essentially what used to have to happen was I would have Jane Doe who lives in Maine write me a reference letter.  Jane would have to have this notarized in her state to verify the authenticity of her signature,and then send it to me to place in my dossier (official paperwork on our family that will be sent to Ethiopia).  But how does the Ethiopian government know that Jane’s notary was real???  Well, I have to take that letter and send it to the Secretary of the State of Maine to be authenticated (mucho money$$$).  The state of Maine authenticates that the notary was a real one and in good standing and gives the document an official gold seal and sends this back to me.  BUT. . . how does the Ethiopian government know that the State of Maine’s gold seal is legitimate and not just some fancy sticker I found???  Well, then I take that document and send it to the US Department of States for a seal attesting to the authenticity of the state seal (more mulla $$$).  BUT. . .  lets say it together. . . . “How does the Ethiopian government know that the seal of the US Department of States is real???”  They don’t, so the final step is for me to send Jane’s one page reference letter that now has multiple stamps and stickers attached to the Ethiopian Embassy here in the United states to authenticate the US Departmant of State’s seal.  The reference letter is then returned to me with a trail of authentication to prove to the Ethiopian government that Jane Doe in Maine really does think we should adopt and would highly recommend us.  Now, think about doing this for 2 other reference letters, mine and Joshua’s medical forms, our employment letters, our chosen gaurdians paperwork, our financial statements, and multiple other documents.  Not having to certify and authenticate each individual piece of paper is sounding better and better all the time!!!!!! 

So, this was the good news we received about our adoption process.  However as Joshua and I read this morning we were reminded of the truly “Good News” that we have received as Christians.  We recently began going through a book entitled, “A Gospel Primer for Christians” by: Milton Vincent.  I highly recommend it for every believer. 

A section on having a gospel perspective in trials reads as follows:

“More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them.  For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me.  When I view my circumstances in the light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad.  I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials.  The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.  Preaching the gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in the way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them.  I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God’s good work in me.” 

So. . . whether or not we get anymore breaks in the adoption process or if we have a long and bumpy road ahead I am reminded that the gospel is at work in my life and can rest assured that God is working His perfect purposes in everything that comes my way!

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Ethiopian Facts

These are some facts that I’ve copied from the Gibson Family site.  I wanted those who read here to have an idea about some staggering statistics in Ethiopia.

Did you know in Ethiopia:

  • One in ten children die before their first birthday
  • One in six children die before their fifth birthday
  • 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
  • 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
  • The median age in Ethiopia is 18 years
  • 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
  • 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone
  • Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
  • In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)
  • Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
  • Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
  • Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
  • Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
  • In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.
  • Ethiopia has approx. 4.3 million orphans and the country is twice the size of Texas.

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What we’ve been up to. . .

Well, I can’t say I didn’t know, or was unprepared. . . but man!  That packet of paperwork gets sent your way and you start looking through all these official forms and think, “What am I supposed to do with this!”  Or, “this is a 40 hour a week job just to fill this stuff out!”  And then you try to remember how many copies of certain documents you need and if you just read in some book that you needed three birth certificates or if that came in your packet, or if you just made that number up.  And can you get one and photocopy it or do you have to pay six dollars/copy for the “original” “certified” one (that of course will expire and be “uncertified” 12 months from now!).  So then you call your agency who connects you to your family coordinator and you leave her a voicemail wondering how many other calls just like yours she’s received today! =)  And then you email your social worker (for the 4th time that day) about reading requirements for the homestudy. 

But, I digress. . . actually, its still kind of fun and I’m not really that stressed.  I do need have to guard my heart though from allowing myself to be completely consumed every waking moment with adoption paperwork.  I keep wondering how fast I can get it done and turned in so that we can move ahead.  I think a lesson in patience is in here!  Actually, I’ve already experienced much grace in being reminded of how God has molded my heart through our years of trying to conceive.  He has bound up my heart, my faith in His sovereignty has increased, God is surely good, I know this, very well!!  And even though, I’m extremely excited to think that there are children in Ethiopia waiting for their mom and dad to come get them, I will continue to wait patiently and take one day and piece of paper at a time.  My next goal??  -Write a letter to the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs in Ethiopia, it’s called our application letter as part of our Dossier. . . much more to come. 

Thanks for everyone’s prayers. . . God continues to faithfully provide for each new step we take!

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