I wish that we were posting our "agency approval"...however no official news as of yet. Although I would love to get the call to schedule our interview, to complete the application process, I know that things happen for a reason and the timing will ultimately work out the way it is suppose to be.
This weekend Pete and I went to a workshop put on by our adoption agency. Although we were already aware of most of the information that was discussed (due to my work in International adoption), we left feeling excited and confident about the agency we picked. We were both very impressed that our agency works with an NGO (a non profit status) organization which provides various programs within Ethiopia including: Vocational Training, Production Centers, Sponsoring of children and families, and Horticulture Farms. Pete and I have already talked about how we can continue to provide support to the country of Ethiopia even after our child is brought home, to keep that connection to Ethiopia for our child and our family. As our agency stated "our first goal is to keep families together....but when that is not possible we feel that it a child should be brought into a loving family."
Not only were the staff of our agency approachable, knowledgeable, honest and sincere...it was obvious that they believe in adoption and have a big heart for the families that go through this process. Throughout the workshop we were asked various questions to bring us back to the fact that this adoption is ultimately about the child, not the parents. Yes all the paperwork is about us, the parents, but the focus should be on the child. The main question (that was pointed out hypothetically from the child's prospective) that stuck out for me was "Are you committed to me even without knowing me yet?" This seems like an obvious answer, YES!!!! However I do think that some people enter into adoption for different reasons...and so not everyone might have that answer. We wouldn't have entered this process if we weren't fully committed to this child and bringing this child into our family. Even though we could have jumped into the process over a year ago when we started talking about the idea...we waited until we felt confident and prepared going into this journey. We already feel love for this child!
Our love continues to grow for this amazing child who we feel blessed to have in our family. Life is good!
In the last few days we have all seen the heartbreaking footage of Haitians fighting for survival. Today I watched reports of various adoptive families who were waiting to complete their adoption in Haiti, some just weeks away from becoming a "forever family". I couldn't even imagine what they are going through...feeling so helpless and worried. These are their children, their family, could you even imagine? Working in international adoption, and now being a prospective parent, the usual frustration is paperwork...having to wait for your paperwork to be processed. For these families this paperwork, their dossier, is completely lost not just delayed. How will they (the government) move forward? I can only hope that both governments recognize the need and bypass the bureaucracy. My heart and prayers go out to all the Haitians and adoptive families!
We submitted our application...taking the first step in this incredible journey! It is truly amazing how many confirmations/signs that we continue to receive ( : We have now shared our exciting news with our family and some friends (won't formally announce our journey until our dossier has been submitted to Ethiopia). Everyone has been so wonderful in sharing their excitement and support of our journey. Some people have responded with "what a blessing you are giving this child"...but what we would like to convey is...that we know that this child will be a blessing to us, we are the lucky ones! We are looking forward to not only embracing our child but also our child's birth heritage and culture
So you may ask how did we choose our agency? Although there is not a simple one word answer (as it was a long process of researching various agencies and talking with families), there were three main issues that were important to us: 1) They have their Hague Accreditation 2) Their Ethiopian program has been established for at least five + years 3) They give back to the country of Ethiopia through humanitarian efforts.
We have been a couple since high school and instantly became best friends. We try to live life to the fullest and with the greatest amount of gratitude! The only thing that could add to our already amazing life would be children, to share in our experiences and joy.
I feel that things in life happen for a reason. I was unexpectedly offered a job in International Adoption...for a reason. Being exposed to the journey of adoption was inspiring and allowed Pete and I to start thinking about adoption ourselves. So you may be asking yourself many questions like....
Why Ethiopia? For us this country was a perfect fit for many reasons. I don't think that I have the time or space on this blog to discuss every facet of this decision...however I can highlight the main points. We had already gained an appreciation and awareness for the country of Ethiopia prior to thinking about adoption. Then, we heard the heart breaking statistic that there are an estimated four to six million orphans in Ethiopia. So the next question was "Why Not?!" After we had quietly decided that this would be a possibility for our family we both noticed multiple signs to confirm this was the direction we were meant to take. As I created this blog yesterday I was looking at the time in Ethiopia, noticing that it was already 2010 while we were finishing up 2009, and thought about how Ethiopia seems a world away geographically but so close to our hearts already. We both look forward to learning more about the Ethiopian culture.
How long will it take? Of course with International Adoption you need to be prepared for delays, however we are anticipating that it will be around two years from the time we submit our application. We are submitting our application this week, our first formal step! We are quite excited.
This is the first time I have created a blog and to be honest I didn't ever think that I would be a blogger. However, I think its a good way for our family and friends to follow us along our journey. So, I don't really know what to expect of myself in regards to postings and how much information to share. So I hope to keep this blog brief but informative as we go through this wonderful journey of adoption.
Happy New Year to you all and I hope that 2010 brings you happiness, good health and wonderful memories!
We have been together since 1994 and have a wonderful life together! We enjoy activities in nature, being with family and traveling. We have a beautiful daughter who we adore and marvel at the sight of her everyday!