Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!! (well, almost :)

It will be a new year in just a few short hours :) We look forward to seeing when in this new year we will be bringing baby Caleb home!! For now, we are continuing to wait for our 171 form to be approved by USCIS.

Here is the newest update:

The first group of families who received their referrals in October will be traveling the last week in January to pick up their children. Yippeeeee!!!

The second group of families unfortunately has not received word on when their court dates will be...this of course if very frustrating for them. Hopefully they will hear something before the end of the week!!

We are praying that referalls will begin coming soon for the families who have been waiting several months. A few families are approaching the six month mark of waiting for a referral. This is six months since their dossier has actually been in Ethiopia.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Some News....

Just when I reported no news.....I heard back from an AW employee ( I actually spoke with her on the phone) with some answers....not all questions are answered, but some were, for which I am very grateful.

First of all,
-There are a total of around 130 families in the Ethiopia program through America World

-There are 35 families with dossier's in Ethiopia (families currently waiting for a child)

-On average, 2 dossiers per week go to Ethiopia.

No concrete answers were given on when the current set of families could expect to travel, or when the second set of families would receive their court dates, or why this was taking longer than usual.

Time estimations are still in check for referrals, as the wait should be no longer than 6 months once dossier is in Ethiopia

Also, from court date to travel date is supposed to take no longer than 3-5 weeks.

An exact time frame was not given for referral to court date, but no more than 1 court date should occur in most cases, though things happen from time to time.

I think I feel somewhat better now about what is going on, though I know that it isn't much consolation for the families waiting for their children.

I do feel assured that AW is working as hard as they can for us, and that we can trust them as our representatives.

No News.....

Unfortunately, there is no new news for this week. The families that made it through court last week still have not heard about a travel date. And, the second group of families who received referrals in October have not heard any news in regard to their court dates. As you can imagine, this is frustrating for all parties involved!
I have sent an email to America World that addresses some of these issues, along with some other issues that I have some concerns about. Hopefully they will respond with some answers! We know they are working hard on our behalf.

In the mean time, we will continue to pray for the AW staff, for all families involved, and especially for all the children waiting to come home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Please Pray for the Carpenter Family

Please pray for the Carpenter family. Unfortunately, their court date was unsuccesful today- they aren't sure why, but they think it was a glitch in the paperwork. They now have a 4th scheduled court date of Dec. 28th. This is such sad news, and they are so dissapointed, as you can imagine. They are such a precious family.

Families are through Court!!

Praise be to God...the families made it through their court dates successfully today!! The David's already have pictures up of their gorgeous daughter! Congrats to all the families!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I never thought this day would come!! Yesterday, I officially sent our homestudy on its way to USCIS!!

Monday afternoon when I got home from work, I found one of those little postcards in our mailbox that lets you know you have something to pick up at the post office.....and guess was our homestudy!! I was kind of bummed because I knew I couldn't get to the post office before they closed at 4:30...but alas, I looked again at the card, and....they close at 5!! So, I grabbed our dog, and flew to the post office.

I got there, and the line was of course backed out of the building!! I thought I wouldn't make it to the counter before they closed, but all of a sudden an employee emerged and asked if anyone had a postcard for a pickup....I raised my hand and shouted, "me!" :) They moved me to the front of the line, and they took my card...I was just praying that the envelope was back there somewhere......a few minutes later, the lady came back with my envelope in hand!! It was great!!

I walked out the building thinking, "thank you Lord!" and when I got back in the car, I just had to sit and cry! I was so relieved to have that thing in my hands...finally!! Never did I imagine having to wait over two months for it! I knew we were one step closer to having Caleb home!!!

So, it should be arriving at USCIS today. The last time we checked, the average processing time was between 40-65 business days...pray for a Christmas miracle....maybe we will get it sooner than we think!

Once we get their approval, we will be ready to send the dossier!

In the mean time, we will be having all our notarized documents certified and authenticated at the local and state levels.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Lunch with the Bowmans!

Saturday we got to meet another AWAA family adopting from Ethiopia! We met Chad & Karen Bowman for lunch in Lexington! It was great getting to talk to them face to face, and not just thought email! Most likely, we will be traveling with this fine family, as we are just about in the exact same stages of the adoption process. We had a great time.

By the way, we should be receiving our homestudy in the mail TODAY!!! If we do, I will be running to have it notarized, and will try to have it sent back to USCIS before this praying! I will keep you updated!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Status Update

Many folks have been asking us "What is going on with the adoption ?!?"

In general, the adoption process in Ethiopia has slowed down! This is due to many factors. One reason for the slow down is the explosive growth of adoptions from Ethiopia in general. This growth, coupled with the Ethiopian court system, which is just simply understaffed, leads to less cases getting through. The families in our agency who had received their referrals in October are already on their second scehduled court day, as their first day they were unable to get through. The first group of families who have received referrals now have court dates scheduled for this Friday, December 7th. The second group will not receive court dates until the first group gets through successfully. From my understanding, the court problem also leads to a longer waiting time for referrals, though this seems to be up to the discretion of the particular agency in some cases (this is just my understanding). In other words, until other families have actually gotten through court and traveled to pick up their children, no other children will be referred to waiting families. The transition home that our agency has established for children who have been referred to families holds around 14 children (maybe a few more), so most likely, there will be no more than 14 children waiting for their parents to get them at one time.

I hope I haven't confused everyone with all this info!!!!

For us, this means that when we do eventually submit our paperwork to Ethiopia, we could be waiting longer than we expected, probably into the summer or fall months for our referral. Our goal was to have our paperwork to Ethiopia by the end of December, and to expect a referral sometime in the spring, but due to circumstances beyond our control, this goal is no longer possible. We are now shooting for the end of February, at the latest, to have our paperwork finished. Hopefully it can be in Ethiopia by March.

Where we are at right now, today: We are still waiting for our final copy of our homestudy to send to USCIS. Hopefully, we will be receiving it this week. Once we send it to USCIS, and we receive our approval from them, we will be sending our paperwork to our agency headquarters, and they will eventually send it to Ethiopia. When Ethiopia receieves our paperwork, our wait to be matched with our son officially begins!

These time frames are of course estimates. It is very hard to know when everything will happen, but for now, it is safe to say, things are on a bit of a slowdown.

This was a bit hard for us (especially Rebecca) to take at first, but we do trust that God has this all in his hands, and God knows what he is doing....he has known all along! We just continue to pray for Caleb, and for all the families in the adoption process. It is hard to believe we have already been in the adoption process for four months now! Hopefully the next four will go by just as fast....

I have copied a wonderful post from another AWAA family's blog. It really spoke to me on one of my "down days". I hope it will speak to you as well.

The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh?'" Genesis 18:13 NIV

You'll laugh again!

In Genesis 18:13-14 we read: "The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord?'" Then in Genesis 21:2 we read: "Sarah became pregnant and bore a son...[and] said, 'God has brought me laughter'" (Ge 21:2-6 NIV). But between the first and the last laugh Sarah went through a wrenching time of disappointment and heartache. The 'love of her life,' Abraham, betrayed her to save himself. Abimelech, a heathen king, took her to his harem and would have slept with her had God not stepped in to rescue her. Yes, like Sarah, between the first laugh and the last you'll do a lot of growing. You'll celebrate your good times and pray for grace to survive your bad ones. Some days you'll feel like you can't go a step further, yet through it all you'll learn to trust God more than you ever dreamed possible.

Here's an important thought: when you share your story with others don't just tell how you started or where you are today, tell them what God brought you through. Why? For those are the things they are struggling with too! King Abimelech's tent was in Gerar, which means the halting place. There will be times when you'll feel as if your life has come to a complete halt; like you're getting nowhere. Maybe that's where you are today. If it is, please know this - God will be faithful to you! Not only will He bring you through, but like Sarah, you'll laugh again as you watch Him fulfill His promises in your life!