Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekly update

At the present time in Ethiopia they are celebrating the Holy Cross, one of the biggest celebrations of the year.  We were only able to receive 2 pictures for our weekly updates but we will take anything we can get.  Kefyalew looks happy and healthy.  Please pray for Kefyalew's finder.  She will be traveling from Hawassa to Addis Ababa, a 4-5 hour drive for the Embassy interview.  Please pray she will be able to remain calm, composed and be able to articulate her information clearly.




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Update on Embassy

We were able to find out from our adoption agency that Kefyalew's finder interview is scheduled for October 3.  We should know by the end of that week whether we have been cleared and can leave to pick him up or if our case file is being sent to Nairobi.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekly update and stats

Our little boy is growing by leaps and bounds while we are having to witness it through pictures. He is starting to look nothing like the little guy we visited with and said good bye to 5 weeks ago.   The good news is he is healthy.  He gained over 1/2 a pound this week.  He went from 13.89 to 14.46 and is still 24.01 inches long.  Please embassy hurry up and schedule that finder interview.





Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Embassy

The latest update on the status of our case is not looking good.  We were submitted September 4th to embassy and they finished screening our file September 17.  That same morning we found out that Embassy wants to interview Kef's finder.  This is concerning to us as we had hired a private investigator to document and interview Kef's history, the police officer he was turned into and the person who found him.  Our investigator turned his report into embassy so it has been sitting in our file.  The reason we are concerned is that two other families moving through the process with us hired the same investigator and their files had basically the same information as ours, private investigation report, children from the same area and orphanage, and they all cleared in two days with no further request of information.  We are bewildered at what the Embassy feels they will gain from interviewing our finder that wasn't already addressed in the report.  To make things worse the Embassy hasn't had the common courtesy to reply to our Agency's email request for our finder interview to be on September 24.  At this time we are left in limbo while our hearts are breaking as a severe upper respiratory infection has been going around the foster home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Day of School

Tuesday September 11 was Tyler's first day of 2nd grade and Wednesday September 12 was Allison's first day of Kindergarten.  Both kids love their teachers and classmates.  Tyler was able to identify a mysterious bug his teacher found on her patio after researching with his Uncle Dave after school.  He was able to tell her it was a cucumber bug and how it was bad for the garden.  Allison enjoyed her first week of Kindergarten learning about nursery rhymes.  One day they made the old woman who lived in a shoe and the next they made wishing stars that are hanging up in her classroom.  Allison's wish is for Kefyalew to come home as soon as possible.

We finished off the week by harvesting some of our garden.  The kids were able to pick their pumpkins.  We are not sure if Tyler is going to be allowed to grow pumpkins again though? See picture below if you think you can handle it. :)




Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekly updates and Stats

Kef is doing well.  He is healthy and is continuing to gain weight.  It looks like the lactose free formula is working.  He went from 13.71 lbs to 13.89 lbs and is still 24 inches long.




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekly Stats for Kefyalew

Received our weekly update today. Kefyalew looks great.  It looks like switching him to the lactose free formula really helped.  He is now diarrhea free and gained .5 lbs in a week.  He went from 13.21 lbs to 13.71 lbs and stayed at 24.02 inches.  We can't wait to get him home.  It looks like it is taking the Embassy around a week to look at newly submitted case files.  My mind tells me we won't hear anything until next week at the earliest but my heart compels me to check our email at 4:30 a.m. every morning just in case. :)



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The path less traveled


So many people have asked about our adoption journey that I thought I would write a post covering what we have experienced so far. I feel that it is so hard to put in words for people to comprehend what it is like, unless they have walked on the same path, but I will give it my best try.

For us, the decision to adopt was a seed that grew and was nurtured over many years. To get to the point of signing a contract with an agency, I feel it was a lot of hope, some blind ignorance of the emotional investment and a lot of faith that this is the walk God wants our family to take. After signing on with our agency, we were in the paper chase stage. This is the stage where you become like a robot and complete page after page of information along with international adoption training for your social worker and then for your dossier. I remember that Russ would become so frustrated. He felt like I was obsessed with the adoption and it seemed like I had no doubts. The truth is, there is so much work to be done that one becomes like an unfeeling machine, narrowly focusing on completing the task at hand. Don't let me kid you, the doubts were there. I just didn't let them show. I wondered if this choice would negatively affect our marriage and our children or if I could love a child that isn't mine. Also, am I prepared enough to be able to successfully parent a special needs multicultural family? In the adoption community, every international adoption is considered special needs. It was the belief that this is a walk of faith that kept me sane and moving forward.

Once we received our referral and you see all the pictures of your child, everything changes. Your heart slowly starts to open up while your mind is telling you to stay detached, since he isn't truly yours until the court grants custody to you. Then, we were waiting for the Southern Mowa office to write his Mowa letter so we could be submitted to court before court closure. As the beginning of July, there was no word on when we would receive this letter. Court closure was looming closer, with the distinct possibility of not being able to see our child until October at the earliest. Your heart can no longer listen to the rationale of one's mind. At this point, we were completely in love with Kef and knew we didn't want to have any regrets. Russ was so gracious to agree to fly over to Ethiopia at the end of his business trip to the Czech Republic to check on him. I needed to know that he was ok, in case we had to wait until the end of October for a court date.

Finally, we were able to fly over for court and I was able to meet this amazing little boy. When we arrived at the foster home to meet him, it seemed like it took them forever to bring him to us. I guess he was sleeping and they had to wake him. :( When they placed him in my arms, he looked completely shell shocked and I felt nothing. All that kept going through my head was fake it, until it is real. It was such a blessing that Kef recognized Russ and we were able to play pass the baby until he became used to me. Thankfully, it didn't take long for me to fall completely and hopelessly in love with him. After that day, Russ complained that I was hogging the baby and I never let him hold Kef. Leaving him behind, even in the excellent care of the foster home and his nannies, was one of the hardest things I have every done. I can't imagine the pain of the person who had to leave Kef behind, as I only loved on him for a week. I knew I would be coming back for him and would have the comfort of weekly updates. This person knew they would never see him grow or know what happened to him. It is indescribable the emotions one has when you realize that this incredible blessing is due to the great sorrow and sacrifice of another.

The most incredible part of the journey so far, is how amazing the blessings have been. It has been greater than we could have ever imagined. The greatest gift we have been given, besides Kefyalew, are the relationships we have gained, the amazing stories we have heard and the miracles we have witnessed. This is what makes the journey so amazing, fulfilling and worth it. Going over to Ethiopia has changed who we are forever. We will never be the same. I know a lot of people have commented on how lucky Kefyalew is to have us, but we believe deeply in our hearts that we are the lucky and blessed ones to have him. What ever the future holds, I 'm so glad we took this leap of faith. I know the path less traveled will be the most exciting and rewarding in the end. If God calls us to walk this road again in the future, we would do it in a heartbeat.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hats galore and diaper covers

To respect the Ethiopian culture of making sure the kids are always bundled up to keep them warm, I decided to try to find Kef some hats we could use for him when we went back over to pick him up.  After I wasn't able to find any I liked, I decided to knit him some. After I found out that it only took me a few hours to knit a hat up I decided to knit hats to donate to the foster home to keep me sane during this wait period.  I used the same pattern I used for Kef's hat for the boys and found a cute pattern for the girls.  My plan is to try to knit as many hats as I can until we fly over for Embassy.

The  bear hats I knitted for Kef

Hats for the girls in Toddler and infant size

Russ and I were able to check out Cotton Babies for the diaper covers.  After much discussion we decided to purchase the Ecobum diaper covers for the older babies as they should have chubbier thighs and not need it as tight around the thigh to prevent leaks.  Cotton Babies is going to be contacting their warehouse and see if they can get in 27 newborn and 27 small LiteWrap diaper covers before we have to travel to Ethiopia and see if they can work out a discount for us.
27 Ecobum diaper covers for the foster home!

Back to school time

This last week was open house at the kids' school.  Allison will be in Kindergarten with a classroom of 13 students.  Tyler will be in 2nd grade with a classroom of 14 students.  We had a lot of fun dropping off their supplies, meeting their teachers and finding out what friends are in the same class as them.