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Friday, October 19, 2007

More Referrals Were Given Out this Week!!!

Here is the Weekly Update for our agency! It is very exciting!

America World is happy to announce that we received referrals for six children this week; three of the children were males, and three of the children were females. The ages of the children ranged from approximately 2 months to 14 months old. There are five families currently reviewing the referrals for these children. We look forward to receiving acceptances from families within the next week!

I am looking forward to hear from those who received a referral! I will post more later!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Summer is over, the leaves are changing, and my feet are cold...but not because of the cooler weather.

OK, so confession time for Holly (Run fast! Save yourself from the torture of reading this post!).

As you have read in my previous 2 posts, there have been 6 referrals given out last week! I am SO incredibly excited about it, but there is another emotion that has been surfacing...

I am experiencing "cold feet". You know, the kind that people joke about when people are getting married. :-) I am so excited about what God is doing and know He has a plan, but I am scared to death!

These kind of feelings come from a very specific situation that I feel would be good for me to share, not just so you understand, but for my own continued healing.

In August of 2005, Paul & I applied with AWAA for a Russian Adoption. We knew that the Lord had called us to to do this, so we stepped out in faith. We completed our Dossier for Russia in December of 2005 and received a referral in just a little over a month! We were so excited! The doors had opened so quickly! It had to be God!

We traveled in late January of 2006 to meet our son in the Saratov region of Russia. He looks just like us. He even has Paul's unique ears! We came home with the intention of returning for our second trip as quickly as possible! No joke, we had all the paperwork done and back to AWAA by the end of the first week we were home.

We were excited, our church was so supportive, and many friend and family helped us financially to continue with the adoption.

Without any warning, something happened within the Saratov courts. Still to this day, we don't know what...

We started encountering obstacles with the judge in Saratov. We received an official letter (all in Russian) in May. When it was translated, it basically documented a list of reasons why our Dossier was not acceptable to the court. At a conference call with AWAA and the other families waiting for court dates, Dr. D explained that this letter applied to all AWAA families, and we weren't being targeted. He also talked about how the documents he was requesting were next to impossible to obtain. Dr. D and his in country staff were going to pursue negotiation with the judge to work it out. We were confident in Dr. D and trusted that the Lord would work it out, if it was His will.

We fought for a court date for over a year. We jumped through hoops, completed paperwork, after paperwork, after paperwork, only to be told to do something more. We finally were told in late March, early April of 2007, that the judge is not budging at all. In fact, he had denied our I-171H! The Orphan Petition through Immigration! Because we don't have the power to change governmental forms, we realized there was nothing else we could do. The judge was willing to work with European countries that had similar governmental set up, but he was no longer allowing adoptions to US families.

Paul & I were (as still are) brokenhearted. We let go of little Ilya and surrendered him to God's hands. We put all of his pictures and memorabilia of him in a box, and began the mourning/grieving process.

I go through this whole story, because when you have experienced such a devastating thing, it is easy to just assume that every similar experience will be the same. Almost everyday I have to reprogram my heart & emotions. I have to remind myself that despite the heart ache, God had a plan and purpose. He doesn't waste a hurt.

Despite the difficulties, we knew this was not the end for us. We knew that the Lord had called us to adopt orphans, and we were going to be obedient. What better way to heal than to start again...

This is what brought us into the Ethiopia program with AWAA. We got our Dossier packet in the mail beginning of May 2007 and here we are in October, waiting for a referral!

I find myself finally getting excited. I have tightly guarded my heart (for obvious reasons) until this point. Knowing that we could have a referral in as little as 3 months (wait time is 3 - 7 months), how could I not be excited?!

OK, now that I have bored you to tears, I am done. Thank you for reading! :-)



Correction - a total of 6 children were referred to families!

Here is the Weekly update from AWAA:

Ethiopia America World is happy to announce that we received referrals for six children this week; four of the children were males, and two of the children were females. The ages of the children ranged from approximately 1 ½ months to 11 months old. There are five families currently reviewing the referrals for these children. We look forward to receiving their responses within the next week!

As mentioned in the Ethiopia September monthly update, America World signed a lease for a transition home in Addis Ababa last week! Once this home is up and running, the children who are being adopting by America World families, will be transitioned to this home from the orphanage between the time of referral and travel. In addition to this, our in-country staff liaison has recently hired two additional staff to help with adoption processing. Our agency believes that both of these accomplishments will lead to a smoother, more efficient adoption process for Ethiopia families, so we are happy to share this news!

It is so exciting to hear all the good news! We are hoping this is only the beginning!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Two AWAA Families Received Referrals!!!

I am so excited to announce that 2 families in our agency received referrals! The Davids received a referral of a baby girl, and the Carpenters received a referral of a boy and girl under 1 year.

Yea God!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dossier was picked up!

I got a Fedex email today notifying me that our in country representative picked up our Dossier today! YEA!!! Thank you, Girmachew!

You may ask, "Why did it take so long?" Here is what I know: The Fedex in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, does not deliver the package. Instead, they leave it at the Fedex office for pick up and notify our representative. Because the office is far away, it took about 1 1/2 weeks for it to be picked up.

You may ask, "What now? How long until you know anything?" Here is what I know: The wait time we are given is anywhere from 3 - 7 months after our Dossier is completed. Currently there are several families who have been waiting anywhere from 4 - 7 months. The wait times are based on several factors ~ age of the requested child, sex of requested child, or amount of children requested. For instance, there are more boys available for adoption that girls. If you request a girl, it is more likely that the wait will be longer. If you request a sibling group under a certain age, you will probably wait longer. There are, however, older sibling groups available.

We are requesting a boy, 0 - 12 months (0 - 18 months by the time we bring him home), as young as possible. This week, I emailed our coordinator, Laurel, asking some "what happens now" type questions. In her return email, she said, "The good news for you is that you're requesting a boy, and since they are more available and less families request them, you'll probably wait less time."

Needless to say, I read, and re-read, and re-read, and re-read this email! I don't know what the less wait time means, but it was enough to make me start to put together the nursery! :-)

Ok, I am taken enough time away from my work to type this post.
Hope y'all have an amazing and blessed day!