Friday, March 23, 2012

How can you join us on this journey?

With all my heart I know that not every family is called to adopt (heck- that was even me for at time!) but I do know that our God calls us to help care for the orphans and the widows. In fact, one great way to care for orphans and widows is to love on a family who is actually called to adoption.  I am learning first hand that adoption is not an easy task and is virtually impossible without the support of community. I know you all have blessed us so much already with you kind words and encouraging hugs! So what can you do to follow us along in this journey? Here we go...
  1. Pray.  Our God is a sovereign and strong God who calls us to walk by faith and follow him. Your prayers and the number one thing that keep us going and make a difference every day.
  2. Talk. Keep in contact with us, sometimes I have absolutely no news whatsoever on movement in our adoption process but it is so nice to know that you care. We may not be "showing" physically or bringing home a baby but we are becoming parents (again) and it's nice to know you notice!
  3. Give financially.  It’s no secret that adoption (international adoptions in particular) are financially costly.  If you feel that your part of our adventure is financial, we will be super blessed by your contribution.  We are working on a 5K and a Fun Run May 19th at Riverwood Resort, MO. You can check the tab on the top of this page for more info. Also our agency has an Eternal Family Program that can handle our donations. (We recommend leaving the memo line blank for tax purposes.)   Ddesignate it to us by placing our last name in the Notes section of the form. Talk to an accountant to be sure, but all donations should be tax deductible!
  4. Join Us. I know I just said adoption is not for everyone, but it may be for your family. If not there are many organizations that you can partner with. (I recommend Because Every Mother Matters, Compassion International, or World Vision to name a few).  
Other ways we anticipate needing some love as we move further in the process:
  • Orphanage Donations.  We will have a chance to collect donations for the orphanages in Ethiopia that work with our agency.
  • Sibling love.  Any way you can bless our current children through the adjustment with play dates, prayers, and notes of encouragement would also bless us.
  • Food.  We will never turn food away - unless you put seafood in it (instant ER visit for Gene)
I’m sure there are others that I can’t think of right now, so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

God calls again!

With prayer and soul searching and talking with eachother Gene and I have decided to....

*Gasp* Yes, you read that right we may be adding TWO children to our family!!! (Enter shock value word here) So you may be asking yourself right now why we decided to do this??? Our answer is God. 

Our decision to adopt was originally based on the idea that we wanted to adopt an infant or young toddler. After an only God designed mesh of events which include me hosting the His Little Feet Choir and hearing stories of older children adoption, crazy road signs, and family comments, we knew God was showing us something and we had to follow it. My three very American worldly children opened their hearts and their eyes to Detcho and Nahagi and the other children in His Little Feet Choir. We read the journey's families are going and have gone through to adopt older children and show them God's love. How they are just as in need as a tiny infant. And everywhere we went were signed God was telling us to open our hearts.

You may also be thinking all the scary thoughts that were going on in our heads when it comes to trauma and grief, language barriers, sibling rivalry, health problems, and the list goes on. But we know that God has called us to do it and he will not let us go through this alone. And in our wait time we are researching and learning and preparing our lives for the what ifs. So.......

Our official approval is one Boy 0-6

or siblings one 0-8 and Boy 0-10. 

      (It's fairly broad to allow wiggle room. )

Our official request to Ethiopia: one Boy 0-4
or siblings one 0-6 and Boy 0-10. 

         What can you do to help?  

                          That will be the next blog .....  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

USCIS Fingerprinting- Check

Last night Gene and I drove up to Saint Louis to stay the night for our fingerprint appointment this morning. I was petrified of being a few minutes late for the appointment because somehow if you miss your appointment you may be scheming evil plans and then your application is kicked out and you start the request to bring an orphan home all over again...not going to let that happen :)

This morning bright and early we drove to downtown Saint Louis. When we got there we realized we did not have any cash to pay for parking so we parked on the street, hoping our car would not be towed away and looking like lost tourists, headed towards the Federal Building, a nice police man even stopped us (I looked extra lost so we didn't get a ticket for the car) and pointed us in the right direction.

Inside were the usual security procedures and as we walk through the scanners Gene gave me a near heart attack when the security office yelled at him to stop and wait his turn to walk through the system. (I thought for sure we were going to be thrown out and our car would be towed and we would have to walk to the police station or something- hey maybe while we were there we could get a background check)

We had to wait about 10 minutes and then took our fingerprints aka biometric appointment on a computer scanner and then we were done. Apparently Gene has a scar on one of his fingerprints but mine were perfect! I tried taking pictures for our life book but apparently that is against some federal rule...I did sneak a few that I will see if I can post.

On our way out we thought maybe we could at least take a picture outside the building...that nice police officer, well he became not so nice when we started taking pics....apparently you can't take pictures on Federal property at all.Oops!

Anyway, we drove home, stopped by the police department and thanks to name dropping our friend Officer Edie, we got a local police check and then stopped by Commerce bank for notarization then on to Walgreen's for some passport photos- yes, we already have our passports but we also needed two pictures for the dossier as well, passport size.

All in all a very productive day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ethiopian Emersion

Injerna [engerna] - a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture.  This is a staple in all Ethiopian meals. This blog starts in my journey to get Injerna.
 I am a white girl (thru and thru) who loves Africa and will one day be a mother to a child from this amazing country. My hopes are my family will learn about our future Child's rich culture and heritage. So after an awesome weekend with my bestie Ashlee, I am on a mission to find an Ethiopian restaurant named Meskerem. As many of my friends know, I am horrible at directions…in fact this may be one of the many reasons that I married my husband since he has a degree in cartography (map making). So I drop Ashlee off at the airport and I have some great directions that are written on a scratch piece of paper to South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis. Im thinking “I so got this” and I drive off on I-270.

 After about a 25 minute drive on the interstate and  two u-turns later I find my exit. I hop off the interstate and--Uh oh- detour- Grand street is closed. This. Is. Not. Good! I keep driving and driving on this goofy detour that takes me all over industrial St. Louis until I realize, I am nowhere near the road I need to be on. I am NOT giving up so I continue on (about 15 more minutes) weaving and backtracking until I find a way to get back onto Grand.  In my mind I am proving how my passion for finding this restaurant is somehow tied to the ability I will have to raise a child from Ethiopia.

After somehow driving into the middle of St. Louis University (and driving three times down the same section of street) I gain my bearings and head south to the restaurant. Finally, I know I am in the right place because each street block has the same burgandy store fronts and each section is a different country (after a mere 45 minute drive). I am so excited by this point I pull into a parking space and almost forget to put money in the meter. All I have is 10cents…dang that coin savings jar at home!  So with the meter tracking I am on the hunt, I run across the street almost getting ran over by cars  because somehow in my euphoric Ethiopian emersion I forgot there were people and cars around me.  I am huffing by the time I get in the restaurant.  I walk in and immediately feel at home and soak up the smells and the music in this small narrow empty dinning area with Ethiopian artwork on the walls.

I nervously walk up to the lady (obviously the store owner) and in my best – Hi Im white suburbia and I’m adoption a child from your country so please accept me- smile I say “My I have some ingernah” and she says “You mean Injerna [pronounced engerna]?”  Dang it! Flunked my Ethiopian Culture 101 already... take back my home study and deny the dossier! I think I almost started crying I was so hyped about how suave I was going to be and then I started just blubbering and we go through an awkward exchange of how much I want and what Im going to cook with it. I am mortified beacuse I don't know a sing dish except dora wat so I blurt that out thinking immediatly how I should have taken some cooking class or at least bought a book before trying to buy Ethiopian bread.  Of course I have no idea because my amazing friend Erin Jay is going to cook with it so I stumble my way through it asking for some berbere (an Ethiopian spice) and barely make it out without breaking down in my usual awkward laugh/cry and spill something. But then I realize, this is my first experience with our child’s heritage…for a moment I had a glimpse into his world of food and music and language.

You may wonder how our dinner turned out? Well, last night we had the amazing opportunity to eat with the Jay Family. Erin made Shiro Wat- a tomato and berbere stew and Miser Wat- a spicy red lentil stew, at least I think thats what she made honestly I had to google that too!  I am so thankful that God has given us this opportunity to meet this amazing family and share our adoption journey with them! And yes, Erin makes so great Ethiopian Food. We watched a great movie too, but that is a blog for another day :)   Below are some  pictures of our food and guests.

Thursday, March 1, 2012