May 10, 2009

We are finally home!!!!! We intended to update everyone while in Ethiopia, but the power was usually out, or the internet was down.  But, after an amazing week in Ethiopia, we are finally home with Tarik!  We made it in last night after 32 LONG hours of traveling.  We are exhausted, but couldn't be happier.  Pictures/video will come :) 

March 19, 2010

Here is the latest we just found out. MOWA did not show up, which was the reason why are case was rescheduled.  This is something that frequently happens, and is 'best case scenario' for not passing a court date.  We really feel like we will pass our next date (should be around the 23rd). 

Here is an email from another family on our adoption forum...
This happened with our case 2 weeks ago and I was told there was no electricity so MOWA didn't write recommendation and they have to wait 7 days before the next court date. We passed the next time so hopfully you will too!

With all the obstacles, upsets, and frustrations along this journey, was there any way we could have passed court on the 16th?  :)

March 17, 11:40 p.m.  Update...letter from our agency.

Good morning, I'm sorry for being late to let you know what is going on with your case as information was slow getting to us. That is why I waited late to find out what exactly took place. I called Ethiopia; time there was about 6:30 AM and found out your case was postponed to another date and is going to be heard on 7 days from today as I can't get the exact conversion in our calendar. Wil get you the exact date but I know it is 7 days away.   Shimeliss

Tuesday, March 16, 2010...Court Day!

Still waiting for news on the outcome of our case.  I was up every two hours last night checking my email (Ethiopia is 8 hours ahead).  I don't think I will leave my computer until I get some news.  I do feel pretty calm, all things considered.  I know it is completely out of our hands (as it has been the whole time), so we just continue to wait and pray.  It feels like we are SOOOO close to getting to our daughter.  Ross and I were talking a couple of nights ago, and we both feel like we are so close to being able to hold her and hug her...we can almost feel her. 

Another couple who recently returned home with their son who is Tarik's age, said not to feel too badly if we don't pass court this first time.  They did not, and had a second date scheduled about two weeks later.  They passed that day, but didn't find out until about four days later. 

Of the many, many things I have learned during this whole process, faith and patience tops the list. 

March 13, 2010 - Since we heard the news...

- I/we have definitely learned what 'praying without ceasing' feels like.

- So, aside from trying not to be a nervous wreck, we are starting to 'plan'...kind of.  W did some researching and emailing of a couple of places we might leave Maisy while we are gone. That is something, maybe the only thing we can start doing now.
We are trying not to get ahead of ourselves as there is a good chance we will not pass court Tuesday, and don't want to be too disappointed.

March 12, 2010.....

Last night, we received our court date!!!!  It is set for this coming Tuesday, March 16.  Please pray pray pray that we will pass court, that everyone has done their job, shows up, and it doesn't have to be postponed or rescheduled for any reason. 

We also found out the previous night, that Ethiopia will be requiring all families/both parents to travel to Ethiopia and actually be present for the court dates....starting roughly April, 9th.  So, if we pass court, we will be spared this expense and yet another hoop to jump through. 

We are SO excited, nervous, scared, and almost every other emotion imaginable. We want with all our hearts to finally, 'officially' become a family on Tuesday, March 16th. 

I will post as soon as we hear anything.  Since Ethiopia is 12 hours ahead of us, we will hopefully hear the outcome when we wake up Tuesday a.m.  However, this all depends on the phone lines and electricity situation in Ethiopia at that time.  So many variables to everything.....

Hoping to be able to post all the pictures we have of our little girl in the next few days!  Please pray for us!

February 25, 2010

Need New Power of Attorney....GRRRRRR!  The lawyer that represents us in the Ethiopian courts is on maternity leave, so all the families waiting on court dates have to submit a new power of attorney.  Not that big of a deal...but stupidly, ridiculously expensive.  To change ONE NAME on ONE PIECE of paper...we must sign in front of notary, have the notarized form authenticated (notarized again at state level).  Then send the paper off to D.C. where it will be notarized yet again at the national level and get the correct seal to go to Ethiopia.  Then, mailing to Ethiopia.  This process rings up at just under.....$300.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   oh has to be done, and after a year and half, several nervous breakdowns, putting everything else in my life on hold, and about $12,000.00 in other fees, what is $300.00 more?? 

February 17, 2010


Our case HAS been filed!!  We are a HUGE step closer. 

Since our case has been filed with the courts, we have been waiting about 4 weeks.  For other families, the wait time between being filed and being issued a date has been 4-6 weeks, so we are hoping to hear a date soon.  For all of you who don't know, the court date (assuming we pass i.e. no problems with paperwork, translation errors, someone not showing up, etc.) will be the day we 'officially' become a family!  Can't wait for that day!!!

Preparing....Doll, Attachment, Books

* To get the animals ready (mainly our dog, Maisy) we got a doll.  She is interested in this new addition to our house, but definitely knows it isn't her toy.  We are working on her not jumping/pawing the doll, and knowing the 'baby area' is off limits.  So far so good!  Let's hope she is as easy going with a 1 year old! 


Our cats are loving the doll because they think the blanket we use with it is specifically for their sleeping benefit. :)

* We have also started doing some heavy reading on attachment and preparing for all that will entail. We are planning on implementing strategies from 'Taming the Tiger while it's Still a Kitten' (Grandparents and immediate family will most likely NOT be happy and Skype will be necessary during the first six weeks!) 

* I got tired of looking for kid books that show multi-cultural families, so I have started working on some of my own.  Using my drawings, imagination, and Blurb, I am hoping to have a couple of them done for our little girl before our trip!

January 19, 2010

Finally some good news!!!
Here is a copy of the letter we received from the director of our agency a few minutes ago:
Dear Michelle and Ross,

Tarik’s papers are almost done! We don’t have the papers in our hand but we are confident we will have it in the next two to three days (today is a holiday in Eth.). I think we will file your case by late next week! Shimeliss

We are so excited to hear this!  We are trying not to get too excited though...The last time we received good news, there was a mix up with Tariks...I guess there are several children, male and female that have this name at the orphanage.  Until/unless I hear otherwise, I am just going to enjoy this feeling of relief.  I think the last time Ross and I weren't stressed about the adoption was the day we got her referral.  I'm sure there will be other glitches and problems before we get her home.  But, hearing some good news was LONG overdue.  Finally seeing a little light  at the end of this long tunnel! Please continue to keep her and those who are handling her case in your prayers!

January 13, 2010

We have been waiting so long to post good news...We don't really have good, we don't really have news. What we have is a huge mess.  And, that is all we know. 

We chose our agency (Hope Adoption Agency) after lots of research, and speaking with many families who used them.  Everyone, including other agencies and social workers had nothing but great things to say about Hope. When the Ethiopian gov't was reviewing agencies and put a hold on adoptions of abandoned children, our agency received rave reviews for doing everything 'by the book'. 

That being said, and not really having anything substantial personally to base it on...something is not right.  Changes have been made within the agency, it appears money has taken precedence over lives, and MANY families (including us) are totally in the dark.

Adoption was not going to be easy...we knew this from the beginning.  However, when your only contact to your child starts becoming corrupt, or senile, or whatever he has become, it makes it that much harder. 

So, we wait, and hope and pray that the people, both here and in Ethiopia, will be honest and do their jobs, realizing that what they do is SO important. 

As sad as it makes us to watch her growing up, wanting to be her parents and give her love-we realize it is worse for her. During this already long adoption, Ross and I have had each other.  We have food to eat, a comfortable place to live, family and friends to lean on.

Meanwhile, OUR BABY (who most likely received no prenatal care) was abandoned in a third-world country, left on the streets at 3 weeks of age.  She lives in an orphanage with no running water, no diapers, no proper nutrition or medical care, and all alone. 

She doesn't know she has a family-we know we have a child...she doesn't know anyone loves her-we know we love her, more than anything else in the world.  All the things that give us comfort and help us get through this whole process, SHE DOESN'T HAVE.

The one thing she does have, is prayers.  Right now, praying for her and those who are supposed to be seeing our case through, is the only thing we can actively do for her. Everything else is out of our control. 

Please continue to keep us, and the many other families and children who are being affected by this mess in your prayers.


December 2009

SO, when we first started our adoption, we thought/were led to believe that around Christmas was the longest we would have to wait to get our little girl home.  Well, it is Christmas (almost) and while things have SLOWLY progressed, we have also had some recent setbacks.

About three weeks ago, we received news that our case was ready to be filed with the Ethiopian courts. Well, it turned out someone from our agency made a BIG mistake...

Since communication from our agency is so far beyond horrible, we don't know a whole lot which makes it even harder.  Here is what we do know:  Someone in Ethiopia lied and said certain things were done pertaining to our case (and about 20 other families cases).  In fact, these things (paperwork) were not done.  This person was fired and three were hired to replace and sort out the mess he made.  Once these three people get the paperwork done, our case (along with the other families and kids who fell victim to this guys laziness and lies) will be filed with the courts. 

We got a new picture of our little girl earlier this week.  She is getting SO big.  She was 4 weeks old when we were blessed by her referral.  Now, she looks more like a toddler, sitting up, etc.  And, to top it all off, she had been crying. (Yes, babies cry, but this is the first picture we have of her where she isn't smiling and looking happy.)  It just breaks our hearts that we can't give her the love she needs right now....

There is nothing to do but continue to wait.  It is completely out of our hands.  We know it will happen, not as soon as we want, but it will happen.  She is our daughter and we love her more than anything, and we will wait as long as it takes and do whatever we have to do in order to bring her home.

Another family on our adoption forum who is in this same situation posted the following quote. 
"Waiting on God isn't to be viewed as an obstruction in they way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn't simply about what I'll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I'll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He's promised. Through the wait He's changing me. By means of the wait He's altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He's causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands."
- Paul Tripp

While I know nothing about this guy, this quite reminds me that waiting is all part of the plan, and everything is happening just as it should. 

Please keep our little girl and the people taking care of her and handling our case in your prayers.

October 12, 2009

COURTS FINALLY OPEN!!!  After a two week set back, courts are finally open again, and there is talk that we may be issued our court date this week.  We are so hoping this happens and that we will get are little girl home by the end of the year. 

Recycled, Refurbished, Redesigned Bags, and Bracelets now available on 



September 19, 2009

Just officially launched our new website and 'business'!  Check it out at
Grants will eventually be available to other adoptive families! 

July 21 Update

We have been without internet since last Friday, but we are back in action. I have quite a few rings to make, so please bear with me as I get to work :) I plan on taking more rings very soon to Sizzors Salon and Signs of Life Bookstore and Cafe, both in Lawrence, and hopefully locations in Topeka.

July 20 Update

Our article in the Lawrence Journal-World was published this morning. The author was Sasha Roe, and she did a great job. We had over 400 hits to our website today! If you haven't yet, please take 5 minutes to read our article.

June 9 Update

We are going to be interviewed by our local newspaper, the Lawrence Journal-World, who is going to help us get the word out about our fundraiser!!  We also have four more pics of our baby. :)

There has been some pretty big bumps in the road for many people adopting from Ethiopia in the last 6 weeks or so. The courts completely stopped hearing adoption cases on orphans who were abandoned, until further notice. Adoptions of orphans who were relinquished, not abandoned, are still going through. Our little angel was abandoned, so we've been on the edge of our seat wondering how long our process would be extended.

We're happy to say there has been some good news from Ethiopia on this issue, as there is a plan to start hearing cases on abandoned children once again. To learn a little more about these issues, take a look at the Ethiopian Adoption News blog.

June 25 Update

We just mailed a check for $5,240.00 to our agency!  We were only $800.00 short of our halfway point.  Thanks to everyone who has ordered rings....we wouldn't have been able to mail it without you!!

The photographer from the Lawrence Journal World also stopped by to take pictures for our story that will be running in a week or so!

June 24 Update

Forbes released a story: In Pictures: The World's 25 Dirtiest Cities. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where our baby is currently living) has been ranked as the #6 dirtiest city in the world.

Sunday May 31, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

We received our referral!!  We are going to parents to the cutest little one month old girl anyone has ever seen! 

April Update

Our dossier is officially in Ethiopia in the hands of our agency.  So, now we officially wait for a referral for a baby/(babies?)!

Now, we have to start our vaccinations and turn in our passport applications.

We turned in our Topeka Community Adoption grant application, and will hear something around May 1st.  Hopefully we will be awarded this grant, as it pays for half of all adoption expenses, including travel.  This would be such a huge help/necessity!  So, keep your fingers crossed!

Dossier is Off!

We sent our paperwork off today! 

April 8, 2009

Just talked to our assistant stork, and they are picking up our dossier from the Embassy today, which means it will be sent to Ethiopia today! 

Friday, March 19, 2009

Had appointment with USCIS and turned in our I-600A (petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative) and had more fingerprints taken.

We are still waiting for the Secretary of State to return  four documents that are being authenticated, from the state of AZ, MI, and NC.  Once we get these, our Dossier is off to Ethiopia!