My mom and I leave for Ethiopia tentatively on June 18th. It's hard to believe I will finally meet my baby girl in one month. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This long journey will finally be complete and a new chapter in our lives will begin. I can't wait. It's so hard to wait. I know the time will go fast, but right now it feels like time is standing still.
One day at a time or as a friend of mine would say 29 more sleeps!!!!
I received the call from Brett with my agency at 9:45AM telling me that WE PASSED COURT!!!!! I am officially a mom!!!! Alemnesh offically has a family!!! Oh and Alemnesh(Saige) will turn 8 month old in two days. 7 weeks from tomorrow we leave for Ethiopia.
Tomorrow night while I sleep (try to sleep) my adoption agency will petition the court in Addis Ababa to make Almenesh (Saige) my daughter. Someone from my agency, a representative from Beta Saida orphanage, and someone from MOWA will be there. I hope and pray that we will pass court the first time around. After passing court Almenesh (Saige) will legally be my daughter. Then we will wait for travel dates. I have been given a tentative date of June 21st to pick up her VISA at the U.S. Embassy in Addis. Travel dates are dependant on the Visa date which is usually 8 weeks after passing court.
Keep your fingers crossed and say an extra prayer that we will pass court without any challenges. Please, Please,Please!!!!!!!
It looks like the China process is speeding up. If it continues at the same pace I will be able to bring Chloe home in the first half of 2012. Yes, I said 2012! Yes, that means I will have waited 6-6 1/2 years for her!
By then Saige will be 2 1/2 to 3 years old and Chloe should be just under 1 year. I will not be matched until 6 weeks before I leave for China.
It's all so complicated and ever changing, but I know it will be worth it after I have my baby girls in my arms. Lord please hurry!
Well, it's been a while and life has been a bit crazy. From drama at work to changes in the Ethiopian adoption process, but time seems to work everything out. My daughter turned 7 months old on March 28th. I received my court date last week(April 28th) and tentative travel date (June 21st). So as always things could change, but for now these are the dates we are going with.
What else? Spent a week at our corporate office. My contractor finished my basement which looks amazing.
My managers had a suprise baby shower for me "TODAY" which blew me away.
Saturday, mom and Shannon are having a shower for me too. Sunday, Cindy and I leave on the cruise I won through my company. I can't wait. I need this vacation like no other. It will also be great to get caught up with Cindy. I miss having her here in town.
Oh, we also completed Saige's room! It's just perfect! Whew! I'm tired!
This is an update from a family from my adoption agency on conditions and needs at our agencies orphanages. So great to here from a family that was just there.
I wanted to post my thoughts on both locations of BZ. There are many good things about both. I spent several hours on 3 separate days at BZ Addis so can tell you more about it. There are 9 cribs, all sets of 3. There are 3 older children (ages 3,5,10). The 10 year old boy is amazing and has not been matched with a family. I've been told he likely has polio. There is also a 2ish girl with some physical/developmental delays.
Each time I was there only 2 nannies were working. Fewer than I had expected but it seemed to work out. The older kids appeared to do their own thing with the babies getting the majority of the attention from the nannies. The babies don't all sleep at the same time so the nannies were able to manage all of them. When babies wake up they are usually held and/or put in this toddler bed to play. Babies don't cry long before receiving attention. Bebelac is the formula being used. In some ways this is good since their tummies aren't constantly adjusting to new formula. I don't think older babies received anything other than formula. ALL of the children are VERY loved!!! When we first arrived there were maybe 4 rattles between all of the children. The biggest problem I observed was diaper rash. It's a big problem. The babies appeared to sit around wet for long periods of time. I don't know how to get that changed. Maybe by sending tons of cloth diapers???
We brought many, many toys. I hope that they are brought to both locations. I offered to do this, but the orphanage manager told me to leave everything in Addis and she would distribute it. If anyone else goes to Sebeta, please check on this.
BZ-Sebeta: Let me tell you, it was a real task to get there! I felt like an undercover agent. I had heard from other families in the past that Biniyam and the orphanage manager discouraged visits to Sebeta. So, I didn't tell anyone I was going. Much easier to ask forgiveness than permission. I arranged with Abraham the driver to go to Sebeta on Saturday to see the town since our son was born there. Right as we got to town I casually mentioned that I also wanted to go to BZ and deliver some care packages. He called Biniyam and Biniyam told me it was too complicated to give directions. He suggested we call the orphanage mgr. Instead, I asked Abraham to find the local police station and get directions from them. He flagged down some man to ask about the police. Next he went inside, came back and made a phone call and told me we had to wait 15 min. Later some lady knocked on our car window, got in the car and lead us to BZ. Mission accomplished!!
BZ Sebeta is very comparable to the Addis location. There are definitely more older kids, but about the same # of babies. I can't exactly remember, but it seems like there were 2 walls of 4 cribs, but maybe it was 3 walls. There were at least 4 nannies present. It was definitely a surprise visit, so I feel that this is how things operate all the time. The kids are also on Bebelac formula and looked incredibly healthy! The nannies were very kind and let me take pictures. They were happy to see our son after so many months. I really wish Sebeta hadn't been such a mystery for months or that Susan would not have told me that her best guess was the kids were on goat's milk. That created a lot of unneccesary worry. > > The needs at both orphanages are great. They are probably set on toys for a while (particularly rattle-type baby toys), but you really can't have too many. They do need more baby gyms or activity mats. I only brought 2. Other baby toy needs are things for sitting babies, you know those 9 month and up baby toys. They need cloths for all ages, crib sheets, blankets, as much diaper rash creme as possible, lotion, vaseline, powder, bottles, crib mobiles, crib mirrors, EVERYTHING!! Another project that needs to be taken on by a crafty person is making new baby pillows. These pillows are used for everything-putting under baby's head, under tummy for tummy time, to prop the bottle, etc. To say the pillows are disgusting is an understatement. They need small pillows that are made with shower curtain material and stuffed with pillow cases to go over them. I think if you made the pillow cases vinyl instead, the actual pillow would still get gross. I will post some pictures of each location and try to respect the privacy of families. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
If you do take a day trip to Sebeta, stopping at the all-female monastary is also a nice thing to do. Abraham now knows where BZ is, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Next week mom and I will purchase the baby furniture and the paint for the baby's room. Don, Shan, and the kids are coming this weekend to help paint the baby's room and register for the baby shower at Babies R Us and Target. Monday I leave for our annual meeting at the home office in Akron Ohio. March 1st my contractor will begin finishing the basement. It's projected to be done by April 1st. Mom and I will get our second round of shots. The baby shower is April 10th. April 11th my friend Cindy and I leave on a cruise I won through my company this year. That will give us a month to get everything put away and pack for our trip to pick up baby girl! Whew!!! I hope it goes fast and we don't have any setbacks(ha ha).
Alemnesh is my daughter's Ethiopian name. Ethiopians speak amharic. Alemnesh means YOU ARE THE WORLD!!! How appropriate. She's not even here yet and she has taken over my world. 3 months to go!!! By the way, she is 5 months old today.
Here are the upcoming events that need to take place before we can go to get my baby girl.
1-Medical records reviewed by Riley's Children Hospital-As we speak! 2-Send acceptance letter-Hopefully on Monday! 3-3 weeks to process paperwork and schedule court appointment 4-Court will be 1 month after appointment scheduled 5-After passing court my mom and I leave 6 weeks later to meet Saige and bring her home to her FOREVER FAMILY
and the LORD has answered the DESIRES of my HEART. -1 Samuel 1:27
Today I got to see my daughter's precious face for the first time. I learned that she was born August 30, 2009. She is simply beautiful and my heart is filled with joy. I pray the Lord will keep her safe, loved, & healthy until we get there to bring her home. I also pray we are able to pass court without any challenges. I am blessed!
My 6 year old nephew Alex Burke said it best. Thank You for Happy Hearts and Love! At the end of the day it's what we all strive for. Here is our families journey to give and receive Happy Hearts and Love!
For this CHILD I have PRAYED and the LORD has answered the DESIRES of my HEART.
-1 SAMUEL 1:27
4-6-09 Received e-mail from Great Wall that they were expanding there adoption to include Ethiopia, Rwanda, & Mexico and that they would allow concurrent adoptions while there families wait to be matched in China.
4-7-09 Spoke to Beth at Great Wall about the details. Found out that there would only be 4 single slots this year and submitted my application later that day.
9-17-09 Received completed homestudy.
9-18-09 My Dossier for Saige Elizabeth Burke was mailed out today.
11-6-09 Power of Attorney sent to Ethiopia.
10-19-09 Dossier sent to Ethiopia.
11-9-09 Spoke to Susan Payne and I am #3 on the list.
11-24-09 It's official #2 on the list.
12-22-09 #1 on the list. We will see Saige's precious face in January.