Adoption Process Explained (sort of)

I am going to try to explain the adoption process as best I can. It is the one thing we get the most questions about right now and every time we think we understand it we learn something new. So, this list is just my best understanding of the process right now.

Apply to Agency: Done, September 23, 2007

Apply to Home Study Agency: Done, October 3, 2007

Home Study Process, involves the gathering of paperwork, writing biographies, two in home visits, two days of classes, and then your social worker writes up the home study, which is then reviewed by our agency, and then the social worker sends to the courts (I am told the last one in Pinal County she did took a month, boo), if the courts certify us we can move on, completed everything on our end as of November 30, 2007, our social worker is writing the report now and it will get it to our agency at the beginning of next week

Citizen and Immigration Services approval to bring the adopted child(ren) home, our certified home study will then be sent to CIS and processed, sorry I don’t have an estimated time on that one

Certification, all of our notarized documents now have to be certified by the Secretary of State in the state where the documents were originated, basically they are stating that we used a real notary

Bundling, our agency double checks our dossier (dos-ee-ey: a collection or file of documents on the same subject, esp. a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic), it then travels to Washington, D.C.

Authenticated at the U.S. Department of State

Second Authentication at the Ethiopian Embassy, both authentications take about 1-2 weeks, then it is returned to our agency’s main office

Dossier Sent to Ethiopia, in Ethiopia it is quickly translated into Amharic and the new translated copy is authenticated

Sometime after that we will receive our referral, we will get basic info on our children at this time, this step has been taking about 1-3 months but could increase due to more agencies being approved to work in Ethiopia

Once we accept the referral our dossier is then presented to the officials at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and to the court, after this we can expect to travel in approximately 2-3 months

Hopefully ya’ll find that helpful and not too boring! Please post any questions in the comment section or if you know something I don’t know inform me.

beard & mustache champs

Beard Team USA competes for the United States at the biennial World Beard and Moustache Championships. In doing so, the primary goal is to promote the worldwide appreciation of beards and mustaches.

Why should you care you ask?

[english accent]To my fellow Beard and Mustache Gentleman: It is with great honor I would like to announce that The 2009 World Beard & Mustache Championships are to be held in Alaska. [end english accent]

this is awesome for so many reasons.

check these out:

For 2007 I rocked a beard. But I may have to groom a better mustache beard combo so I can compete in the 2011 competitions (I’m not yet ready for 2009). I am currently looking for a good coach and manager to assist in strategy and conditioning. It will be grueling training, but i must represent my country.

So if you are, or know of any top notch, aggressive, and dedicated beard & mustache aficionados willing to take on a coaching role, let me know.

green bathroom

Instead of decorating for christmas, we painted. Our second bathroom will be tom & jerry’s, so we need it fun. We found the greatest green paint.I think its even called leap frog green.

I also must say that Wow stephanie posts entirely too much, Or is it that I dont post enough?


Matt and I decided to come up with nicknames to call our future children while referring to them on the blog (because future children just sounds so impersonal). The nicknames do not have to stick once we bring them home, because we might possibly come up with nicknames that are more fitting their personalities. We came up with Tom and Jerry (pretty sure Matt came up with it). We were thinking of favorite childhood characters when we came up with that one and Matt liked it the best, so it stuck.I came up with the idea for this from two other adoption related blogs Salty and Bonnie and Clyde.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is my favorite holiday and I cannot wait to be celebrating with family, stuffing my face, and watching the Cowboys. I began to realize last night that watching the Cowboys made me a hypocrite in my last post because I am against people working on holidays instead of being with their families. I still am and would be more than willing for them to move one of my favorite traditions to the Friday after Thanksgiving so more people could spend the day with their families.

I would also like to share what I am most thankful for today. The short answer Matt. The long answer is he is the most loving, caring husband, he is always there for me, he knows just how much to push me to help me be the best I can be without going too far. He is always respectful, kind, and he can almost always make me laugh, sometimes he does think he is funnier than he is. You are amazing honey and I love you so much.

Please remember all that you have today and enjoy your family traditions. Feel free to post what you are most thankful for in the comments section.

Buy Nothing Day

I am not against shopping in general, but I do think Thanksgiving weekend shopping has gotten out of hand. This should be a time to celebrate and relax with your families, not spend hours in line trying to find that perfect gift. Some stores are even open on Thanksgiving now, which makes me sad for their employees and for the people willing to buy on these days. Is their family that bad to be around that they would rather go shopping? Please unless it is an absolute emergency never buy anything on a holiday. Everyone should be given the chance to celebrate with their families. Obviously people in emergency medical jobs will have to work, I can’t tell people to stop getting hurt or sick on holidays that is out of their control. My fondest memories of this weekend are eating, playing games, and decorating for the Christmas holidays. I would not have those found memories if my mom had gone out every Black Friday in search of the perfect gifts. In fact, those perfect gifts would probably long be forgotten. Please join me this year for Buy Nothing Day and do something fun with your family instead.

Ethiopia Page

I created a page on Ethiopia as a part of our blog. It is a work in progress and contains basic facts and some pictures I borrowed from other web users, since we have not yet been. It also has a few links to relevant info on Ethiopia and adoption.

If you have any questions about Ethiopia, please ask and if I don’t know the answer I will try my hardest to find out.

We want to share our children’s culture and heritage with you and are excited about learning more about it ourselves.

Long Weekend

We had a long weekend of classes and they gave us plenty to think about and more to research on our own. We got home a little while ago and I got to watch the fourth quarter of the Cowboys game which they won! We also came home to cat puke on the kitchen table, thanks Carter. He also puked on the bedspread this morning, I am starting to get worried about him.

I am just going to post some random pics for everyone to enjoy since I don’t really have any cohesive thoughts for this evening.

Matt and me at the beach:

Mom bought frog towels for the new frog bathroom and we couldn’t resist the urge to give them a whirl:

Matt and Carter making signs for last weekends car wash:

reaching out

This last month or so our church has been working through a series titled Outflow, based on the book Outflow by Steve Soujorn. Throughout the book we have been challenged to reach out and love our family, friends, neighbors and community as Jesus would have. Jesus showed love in such practical ways. There wasn’t some huge mission trip planned 3 months in advance, it was practical love in peoples daily lives. He met people where they are at.

So in this light we gathered together in small groups and planned a day to go out into our community to serve with random acts of kindness. Our group was involved in two projects.

Continue reading “reaching out”