Saturday, July 31, 2010

16 years years of love & adventure






 “For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~ Judy Garland

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All one big piece of the puzzle

There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle. ~ Deepak Chopra

Unfortunately no news from Immigration. When we submitted our application the average wait time to receive approval was 6-8 weeks. As of today we have been waiting 12 weeks. The wait time has increased dramatically to where the officers handling the cases are no longer taking phone calls. Phone calls are going directly to their voicemail where they state if they are able to they will return voicemails for an identified hour per day. We know that everything happens for a reason and that if things were different we wouldn't be united with our daughter. I have seen it many times being on the professional side of adoption, families trying to be patient but feeling so far away in actually being able to hold their child in their arms. But when they become forever families, each and every time, they express that the waiting was all worth it and the timing was ultimately perfect!

When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there. ~Japanese Proverb

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There is no me without you

I just finished the most incredible book, There is no me without you. It is a very well written book which provides a glimpse into the AIDS/HIV pandemic and the resulting effects on children orphaned through poverty and death. As stated on the Amazon website "Not unlike the AIDS pandemic itself, the odyssey of Haregewoin Teferra, who took in AIDS orphans, began in small stages and grew to irrevocably transform her life from that of "a nice neighborhood lady" to a figure of fame, infamy and ultimate restoration."

You can visit the author's website, There is no me without you, to learn more about the author and the continued work in Ethiopia.

There were many statements and situations mentioned in the book that brought me to tears. However this one I felt was most appropriate for this blog: "So Haregewoin understood adoption like this: In the Epoch of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, a few families from foreign countries were throwing lifelines to individual children. The life-changing opportunity was not without a price, which the Ethiopian government weighed carefully: the adopted children would lose their country, people, faith, language, culture, and history. A child could end up the sole Ethiopian for hundreds of miles; another, the only child of color in his or her school. But the adopted child would gain the one thing on earth arguably worth more than a homeland: family. While most African nations did not turn to inter-country adoption as an option for orphaned children, Ethiopian officials had decided that for the infinitesimal minority of African orphans who could be raised by foreign parents, the trade-off was worthwhile and they would not block their path."

This statement addresses some of the issues that we initially discussed when thinking about adoption. We can say that we feel so lucky to live in a community where we personally know dozens of families who have adopted from Ethiopia (as well as knowing that there are several dozens of families we have yet to meet). There is an incredibly large and amazing support network for families who have adopted through Ethiopia. We recognize and understand the importance of maintaining her connection to Ethiopia, making this a natural part of our family life. We hope to facilitate this connection through our focus and exposure of her culture through activities, books, music, food, art and eventually returning trips to Ethiopia. We want to raise our daughter to know and love Ethiopia.  

We can't even imagine what the people of Ethiopia are going through. In the book, an adoptive family spoke to the village where their adopted children were born. Given the opportunity to talk with our daughter's family I couldn't have phrased it more perfectly, the family stated "we feel sad for your family's terrible loss. Your tragedy has turned into an incredible gift for our family. We feel deeply honored to adopt these children." We truly feel that our daughter will be a blessing in our life and we feel so grateful to be be given the opportunity to incorporate such a rich and incredible culture into our family. The more we learn about Ethiopia the more we fall in love with this amazing country. This truly is the journey of love.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”   Haile Selassie

Friday, July 9, 2010

Immigration status

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrations and revolutionists. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Working with immigration and been a lesson in patience. Although the wait was much longer than we anticipated, we feel so thankful that we are able to call the office to obtain information on our application status. I remember when I worked in adoption adoptive parents didn't have the option of calling about their status, I couldn't even imagine! The "officer" appointed to us has been very gracious and supported us in our curiosity as long as we kept our phone calls to no more than once a week! The first time we called, two weeks ago, we were #16, then a week ago we were told #13, and then I called today and we are #5!!!! We are thrilled to know that the process is speeding up and although we didn't make our goal to send the dossier by July 1st...we think we can make our adjusted goal of sending the dossier by August 1st! YAY!

" Patience is the companion of wisdom." ~Saint Augustine

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hakuna Matata

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant, to the leaping antelope.

What a wonderful evening! We were lucky enough to see the Broadway production of The Lion King at the Keller Auditorium this last week, what an incredible performance. The costumes were vibrant with amazing detail, and the actors had such powerful and beautiful voices. Everyone enjoyed the show.

We decided to eat some Ethiopian food before the show. Since we have been crossing off the various restaurants on our list we decided to eat at the En'Joni Cafe. We had a fabulous dinner and the staff were so friendly. The food was outstanding and we loved all the beautiful artwork everywhere. We plan to return to return on a sunday to take part in their Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. 

"Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days. It's our problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata!"

This week we finally broke down and called CIS (immigration) to see where we were on the list. We submitted our application at the beginning of May and at that time the current wait was 4-8 weeks to received your I-171-H. Unfortunately we just passed our 8th week of waiting. So when I asked the "Officer" what position we were on the list it was hard not to be disappointed when we were told "number 13" and they had only processed three applications in the last week. After a brief sigh,  we reminded ourselves not to get caught up in the worry and focus of the various wait times involved on this journey. We know in our heart that we will met our child at the perfect time in all of our lives.

 "Look at the ★s. The great kings of the past look down on us from those ★s...So whenever you feel alone,just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I." ~Mufasa