Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MOWYCA Date Tonight

As I type this post, N's Aunt should be at this exact moment preparing for her court interview in Addis Ababa for our adoption. It is 7:35 am in Ethiopia. She may be walking out the door this very moment or chasing a chicken out of her way, maybe she is like me and thinking about what she can pick up in the city while she is there or could she already be on a bus riding on a bump road thinking about us as we think about her?

I hope and pray that we can honor her decision to provide N with a life in America. To her that might have meant a mom and a dad, a school, a doctor, a future full of potential.

I think of her,
I think of him,
I think of family.


Update on ET Donations - and a new list

So I have to brag on a fellow counselor, Lori,  and her coupon queens. They have taken it upon themselves to join us in our mission to gather supplies for ET and are going to clip away for some great personal hygiene items! I am honored that they have chosen their time and precious coupons for our donation project.  (If you have never couponed before you may think "precious" is a strong word- as a former coupon clipper attemptee it is not, those things are like gold!) She has even partnered with a dental office to provide a box of toothpaste and toothbrushes!!!! Way to go Lori!!!
Another surprise- I stepped into my office this morning and found a big back with some children's pj's, books, medicine and band aids from our sweet LHS Librarian Karen.
I even had one of our small group buddies and his son- Mark and Collin Campbell bring me by some unscented baby wipes and flinestone vitamins- bet it's been awhile since they have done down the diaper isle :)
After checking with sweet Stacy who will be running Project 61 for the summer, they have MET THEIR GOAL FOR NEW  Twin sheets for their boarding school that sponsors children to attend school who once lived in or around the city landfill. They also provide a feeding program, job support and a medical clinic as well.  Korah has a very special place in our heart and so does this agency so we are so excited to get to partner with them. Some of the other items of need are posted at the end of this blog or you can always donate some funds.                                                        
For my Lebanon Peeps- anyone recognize these Shirts!
Here is the new list of items since some will be covered by our coupon queens:
Vitamin D Drops
Flintstones Vitamins-Chewable
Lotrium for ring worm
Baby wipes- Unscented
Medical Gloves - Disposable Examination Gloves
Hand sanitizer
Tylenol -Infant and children's
Neosporine- generic or name brand
Lice kits
Childrens’ Clothing – Sizes 6 months to 3 T. Please, however no shorts nor tank tops.
Childrens’ Outerwear - Coats, Sweatshirts, Sweaters, Jackets. Sizes 6 months to 3 T.
Childrens’ Shoes – for Ages 9 months to 4 years old. No flip flops, please.

We are so blessed to have had so many people ask us how they can help fight the cause of poverty in Ethiopia and these are some tangiable ways to do that. Please do not feel that you HAVE to donate, we simply wanted to let the needs be known if you felt led to partner with us.  
-Amanda and Gene


Monday, May 13, 2013

The needs of a third world Orphanage

In the last post I shared how we are planning on collecting donations for our item in Ethiopia. On our first to ET we will be visiting at lest two Orphanages in Addis Ababba. These orphanages try there very best to meet the need of the children but when you are faced with minimal inflow and many children things like Tylenol and destine fall behind formula and diapers.

We will also be visiting and hopefully getting to work a day with Project 61. You can see their information at www.p61.org Through an amazing timing that is totally God ordained, one of our friends Stacy and her family will be running project 61 for most of the summer so we will get to partner with her while we are there. How cool is that!?!

These pics are from an awesome adoptive momma jen Verme. You can check out her prings and even get your own here: http://mycrazyadoption.org/hope-for-korah-go-big-love-big/

We also plan to visit an organization that we have been contributors to called Embracing Ahope Ethiopia. You can check them out at: http://www.embracinghopeethiopia.com. They provide Childcare for single women, family based resource center (business classes, small loans, education etc and children's literacy.

Mom Making Basket

So over the next few weeks as we prepare to travel to Ethiopia we ask that you partner with us to bring some much needed items to those with out. Here are some of the most needed things in the Orphanages and at Embrassing Hope.

Vitamin D drops
Unscented baby wipes
Tooth paste
Tooth brushes
Personal toiletry bags
Iron drops
Diaper rash ointment (A+D or destine)
Hand sanitizer
Infant and children's Tylenol
Plastic and latex gloves
Lice kits
General first aid times
Lotrium for ring worm
Childrens Vitamins
Children's books
Clothing and shoes, including sweaters, pants and pj's.

We will be collecting these itmes before we leave sometime in June. If you would rather make a donation to one of the organizations, let us know and we will gladly help you! We would be honored if you would partner with us to bring these much needed items to Ethiopia.


Matthew 25:

40 Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day

Today has been a day of thankfulness and loss at the same time. I don't think my Mother's Day will really ever be the same. You see I have always shared Mother's Day with many women. I share it with my amazing mother who has always been there to support me as well as my wonderful mother in law who has treated me like one of her own. I have two great sister in laws and many friends who are mothers. I also share this day with Jacob's mom as I am not his first mother and as a step parent, I will always respect her position while continuing to love him just the same.

I think God has slowly been preparing my heart over the years sharing this day with so many women. But on this Mother's Day, I kept thinking about our new son's birth mother. I wish I could capture in words what my heart feels, how much love and sorrow I feel at the same moment. Thankfully, I have been blessed to follow a sweet writer Tiffany Darling who is able to share what my heart feels. Here is her post.


For Her. {Guest Post by Tiffany Darling}
He is hers, and he is mine. He is ours. Her incredible loss was my incredible gift. And while I cannot imagine my world without him, poverty robbed her of life with him. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not realize this. It is a gut check every single morning. It makes for very complicated feelings in my heart. What if the roles were reversed? What if it was I who was there, struggling with starvation and preventable diseases, struggling with poverty and injustice squelching out my dreams? What if she was the one gifted with raising my children?

She is my link to his past, and we are eternally entwined. She is the only one who knows the way those first bumps, kicks, and wriggles felt inside of her swollen belly. And I am the one who knows the tears he cries for her, and how her pain is reflected in his heart. She knows the anguish of laboring him to life; while I know the anguish of laboring him here. She has all of his yesterdays, the ones I will never, ever know. I have all of his tomorrows, the ones she will never, ever know. She knows the dreams and prayers she breathed over his newborn face. She knows his first cry and first gasp for breath, and I wonder even in those first moments, if she knew that their time together was fleeting – flowing through her fingertips like fine grains of sand. I wonder if she breathed in his curls a little longer. I wonder if her tears came hot and fast as she wondered where the food would come from, and how she could feed herself in order to feed her son. I wonder if she was scared. I know her heart was breaking. I wonder if she held him tight to her chest and pleaded for his life.
With Jamesy’s first steps my heart soared and then peaked at the knowing that she was missing it. I squealed for both of us.
When Habi scored that first soccer goal for his school team, my eyes burned with tears. She wasn’t here to shake that cowbell and make a wild scene for our boy. So I did for both of us.
When the doctor told us Jamesy could see, rivers of scorching tears trickled the curves of my cheeks, and I begged God to let her know that our boy with the shaky gorgeous eyes could SEE.
When Habi’s blood tests all came out clear and negative, I wanted to dance with joy for her, knowing that she knew more than anyone in the world what a miracle that was.
With every new word that Jamesy gains, and every time his deep brown eyes find mine and he says Mama, my heart skips a beat, and I cherish it for both of us.
With every I love you, Mommy, I reassure Habi of my love and her love. Two women fiercely in love with the same boy.
Every time I tuck them in at night, stroke their curls, kiss their lids, I linger longer for her. Every milestone, accomplishment, late night talk, hug, kiss, kitchen dance, giggle is all soaked up for both of us. She is a part of them and a part of me. Two different Ethiopian women and then American me. Two brave, courageous women that poverty has stolen what was most precious to them. And while adoption is the most beautiful experience I have ever been inside of, it is also the most horrific and ugly as it is mottled with so much pain, so much loss, so much injustice. This is not how it should be. Poverty should not rob a child of its mother and a mother of its child, and while by the time I entered the picture for my boys it was too late, and the only thing left to do was what we did, for many children and mothers living in poverty, it is not too late. It is not too late to give these mommies the chance to experience first steps, first giggles, first day of school, bedtime kisses and prayers. It is not too late to allow a child to grow up in his or her beautiful culture and be adored by birth family and surrounded with love. As a mother to two birth children and two children born only in my heart, this is something I am passionate about. While adoption is viable and necessary in cases like my sons’, the best and most ideal situation is to keep children with their birth families when possible- despite poverty. Poverty is not a reason to separate families.
This Mother’s Day, rather than giving that special mother in your life flowers or jewelry, why not give them the gift of supporting mothers and children surrounded by poverty, so that they can stay and flourish together? It is as simple as making a one time donation to Compassion in honor of the special mom in your life, or partner with Compassion’s Child Survival Program in ongoing support. Jesus can offer these moms hope that life can be different. I want to be part of this difference.
My heart is for these mothers – these brave, beautiful, courageous mothers, who daily battle things that I could never dream of battling, all while I sit in my safe, comfortable home sipping coffee. Today I want you to think about these mothers – sisters across the world. What if it was you? Let’s link arms and fight for these women to have a chance to love their babies to adulthood. Let’s not close our eyes, turn our heads, and be silent.
Today I write this for her and for her. To Habi’s first mommy and to Jamesy’s first mommy – Happy Mother’s Day – you are forever in my heart. Every time I look into his eyes, I see you there. I love him for the both of us, and he will know of your love in my touch, in my words, and in my heart for him. This is for you and for you.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The process and where we are....

Many of you have asked what the next steps are. I will try my best to explain the process from receiving a referral to bringing our child home.

Step 1: Our agency sends all the documents that have been gathered to show that our son is a true orphan by international standards and is adoptable. These are sent to the the Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA).

Step 2: A family is issued a MOWCYA/Birth Parent court date for their case. On that date, MOWCYA is subpoenaed for an adoption recommendation letter, and a birth parent is requested to appear to give their consent for the adoption. (this will be N's Aunt )

We were assigned a MOWCYA date yesterday
for May 29th !!!!!

Step 3:  if MOWCYA writes a favorable letter (which we believe will happen the first time) a court date will be assigned within a week. These dates are usually 2-4 weeks after the MOWCYA date.

Since our MOWCYA date is at the end of this month that means we will most likely have a court date and travel to Ethiopia to meet our son around the middle to end of June!!!!

Step 4: Receive our Court Date then Fly to Ethiopia on a Jet Plane... don't know when we'll be back again,  Yes I'm know I am a dork, moving on....

Step 5: Return home while we wait for post court paperwork submission to the US Embassy. (Things like passports and court decrees- this usually takes 3-5 weeks).

Step 6: Get cleared by US Embassy in Addis Ababa and receive a VISA interview date for our son.

Step 6: Travel for the Embassy appointment and bring N home to his new forever family!!!!

If you do the math the shortest timeline would be court in Mid-June
and bring him home Mid-July.
The longer part would be court first of July and
 bringing him home  mid to end of August.
Either way we trust that God's timing is perfect and are anxiously awaiting meeting N!
We received a few more pictures that I wish I could share in their entirety but until then here is a cropped pic :)
Wondering what his hand is on?
          That is a trace of my hand...we are holding hands folks!
                   Miles apart but close together. 
                             I wish I could show you that beautiful grin too !!!!!!!!!!!!
In the next post I am going to share some of the work we intend to do while we are on our court trip and our hope for you to partner with us to bring much needed supplies to Ethiopia.