Madine Family

Thank you!


Posted on : 7/31/2010 | By : Joanna

Whoo Hoo! Flights for our first trip to Ethiopia are booked!
We were able to use air miles donated to us by my good friend and former roommate and her husband (not sure that they'd want their names to be posted here). That gave us a savings of about 65%...which is freakin' awesome, especially since this trip wasn't required when we started this process.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
It means the world to us to know that so many people are helping us and praying her home. We can't wait to tell you all about her!

I finally completed the crib bumper and skirt. Not bad for not having a  pattern (or much of a plan for that matter) and sort of teaching myself to sew. We don't have a crib yet, so I tried to prop it up on pillows on the sofa. I hope she likes it :) The finish line is in sight for the blanket I'm crocheting.
I also bought her first baby doll. I couldn't resist. African American dolls are hard to come buy, and I was having a hard time finding a soft one that was cute and cuddly. This one is adorable...and I had a gift certificate, so no guilt included.

Court Date!


Posted on : 7/22/2010 | By : Joanna

We have a court date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so we didn't make the cut off before the courts closed for the rainy season, but we're just so thrilled not to be in limbo any more! Thank you,  Thank you , Thank you for all of your prayers, encouragement and support.
Our court date is scheduled for September 28th, the second day the courts are back open. This is the day, if all goes well, that we will legally become the parents of the cutest baby girl. Seriously, in about 2 months, we could finally be PARENTS. We're just in awe of this process and although it can't happen soon enough, we are really trusting God's timing. He is in control.
We cannot book travel yet. We're waiting on an "okay" from our agency. We also don't know the exact dates that we'll be gone, but we're pretty sure we'll have to be in Ethiopia for at least five days with about 30 hours travel there and back. We'll keep you posted.
Our only concern is that last year the courts closed for a shorter length of time, but then delayed opening by a couple of weeks. All of the families with court dates just after the scheduled opening had to scramble and get worked in around and after other families already scheduled. We pray since they are closed for longer, they won't mess around and make our lives crazy at the last minute. 
We also got a medical assessment the other day. I was sad to hear that she had pneumonia about a month ago, but was treated and recovered well. She's hitting all of her milestones and growing well. The medical staff described her as a "smiley baby who likes when her caretakers giggle her". I'm assuming they mean "tickle. That little statement pierced my heart and set the tears flowing. We are so happy she is doing well, but I want to "giggle" her. We want her home. 
Prayer Requests:
1). Please pray for baby girl's health.
2).Please pray that our case will actually get heard on Sept 28th...and that we "pass".
3). Please pray for Kristen and Chrissy (2 friends of mine that are in Ethiopia this week to bring their children home). Safe travel, good health, easy transitions, strong bonding/attachment.

Lots Going On


Posted on : 7/08/2010 | By : Joanna

It's been about a month since my last post, and since that time we've just been waiting and waiting. You'd think we'd be pretty good at this waiting thing, but it has been pretty hard. All of the families in our Yahoo group who were not required to travel for their court dates (we call them "1-trippers") have passed court (meaning they are legally parents) and have begun traveling to get their little ones. To date, none of the "2-trippers" (that's us) have been assigned court dates; HOWEVER, we found out yesterday that our file was submitted to court last week! What happens from here is a little fuzzy, but here's how we think it works:
-Our file is submitted to court
-a couple of weeks later we are assigned a court date (3-4 weeks out and possible tentative)
-in the mean time, soon after our court dates are assigned, the birth family has their court appearance. 
-if all  goes according to plan with their hearing, we will be given the okay to book flights, maybe 2 weeks in advance of travel. 
Bottom line: There is still a chance that we will make it through before the courts close for the rainy lets do some double time on the praying! and we'll keep you posted.

The next question (if not the first) is, "So when is she coming home?". The answer to that is, "We really don't know". Unfortunately, as some of you already know, a big issue unfolded this week. The US Embassy in Ethiopia decided to reduce the number of Visa appointments issued per month (usually 20 per agency) to only 10 appointments. Basically, it has the potential of drastically slowing down the next leg of our journey. There are approximately 30 families with our agency who are waiting for appointments to pick up their children, and this is the only thing stopping them from bringing their children home. There are some rumors that the reduced appointments are only for the summer, but we don't know that for sure. Thank you to everyone who emailed their state representatives on behalf of the children of Ethiopia. If you have not already contacted them, please wait until we get some further direction from our agency. We want to make our voices known, but we want to be careful not to offend the Ethiopian officials and risk any sort of adverse reaction. International adoption can be very precarious, so we're going to proceed with caution for now. We know that the agencies are all doing their best to advocate for the children. Depending on how much of the bottle neck clears out before we reach that stage, we're probably looking at traveling to bring her home in October or November. I'm usually saying December just to be safe :).

Anyway, while we've been waiting , waiting waiting, we've been doing, doing, doing. 

I have succumbed (finally and much to the amazement of other adoptive mothers) to retail therapy. I bought some cute little hair clips and ties at the dollar store and a perfect little storage container at JoAnn's (50% off). I'm pretty sure this is just the beginning of a major hair obsession. Let's hope she's grown some since her last picture! :)

 I bought this cute baby photo album and filled it with pictures of "Mommy and Daddy". We'll leave it with her when we travel for court and meet her for the first time.
We completed the toy storage things. There are actually three of these that stack (see previous post). We're trying not to stack them for as long as possible to allow the oil based paint to cure so they won't stick to each other.
I've made lots of progress on the baby blanket I'm crocheting, but took a detour to start work sewing the crib bedding. I couldn't find anything I really liked in the stores, but fell in love with this of course I had to make it. :) I should be done in a couple of weeks, but here's a preview (modern and feminine, but not a stitch of pink in sight. I figure she'll get plenty of pink in her clothes, etc).

I also wanted to ask for some specific prayers if you have the time:
1).Pray we make it through court before the closures (Update: some agencies are reporting that the courts will close Aug 6-Sept 27th, but our agency has not gotten confirmation from the courts on this. Please keep praying that we get a court date soon...and that it is before the closure).

2). Pray that more Embassy appointments are added (Update: The Embassy is telling our agency that the reduced appointments will only be for the summer, some people have even been told directly by the Embassy that the reduction will only be for July. That may help reduce the bottleneck for Visa appointments, but they seriously need to add more if possible.

3). Pray for one of my good friends who has been waiting much longer that us and found out there is a glitch with her paperwork. (Her soon to be daughter is in the hospital and could use some prayer too)
4). Pray for another close friend who is scheduled to pick up her baby girl in the next few weeks, but will get pushed back if her new INS fingerprints don't come through in time. (Answered Prayer! See Her comment below- Fingerprints were located)

We thank God for this amazing journey and these amazing women whom I am lucky enough to call friends.