Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two Data Points

Well, I thought Emily would be the one waiting by the phone, but it seems that it is more the case with me. I am not a very patient person plus I am a very analytical person (its my job).

Anyway, I just found out that a Gladney Family in the process of adopting an infant girl recieved their referral yesterday, exactly 15 weeks and 4 days from their official wait list date.

Also the parents at Timm & Jennifer got their referral for an infant girl 15 weeks and 2 days after the wait list began.

Given that our wait list date was Sept. 27th, that would put us at Jan 12-14th to receive "the call". Very very exciting. We were originally told that the normal is 3-5months although it seems to be quicker for those adopting boys. So 15 weeks definately falls in the middle of that range.

I have to admit, I have been thinking how wonderful a christmas present "the call" would be.

Everyone sing with me, "All I want for christmas is the re-fer-rall call, the re-fer-rall call, oh the re-fer-rall call...."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my side of the family. Every year we alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas between Scott's and my families. This year we'll do Christmas with his family and next year we'll switch. When we spend Thanksgiving with my side, we also do Christmas. We were up in Indy for 5 full days and our boys played with their cousins nonstop without ever getting tired of each other. It's fantastic. My brother has a little girl (the only girl of all the cousins) and can't wait for ours to get here, even though there will be about a 3 year age difference.

I've been waiting to go on this trip so that we can get back and I can go ahead and pack a bag for Ethiopia. It might sound a little premature, but organization is on my list of things to do before we get our referral. (I'm whittling away at my list-I still need to find an adoption keepsake book that I like.) Since we won't need anymore boys clothes, I have been throwing all of Max's clothes he's outgrown into a huge pile. If the pile had been right next to his crib, he could have easily crawled out of his crib and slid down the pile! Yesterday I washed everything and folded it all, ready to pack one of our large bags with all of them to take to the orphanages in Ethiopia. Today I made one last look in his closet before I was going to pack our first bag and I found two more boxes of clothes that I am now washing. Originally I was just going to donate them here, but then decided that we'd take them there instead. We may have to pay extra for all of our luggage, and most all of it won't even be for Scott and I to wear.

As far as our house goes, the construction crew has started on our renovations. I'm so excited. They worked a little while we were gone, so it was pretty wild to come back to an almost entire new room upstairs (at least framed and floored). I'm so glad that we decided to do the room addition, and especially to get it done before we travel. Need to go pick up paint samples. I'll add that to my list...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Want to learn more?

Emily and I finished reading the book, There is no Me without You. It has been the best book we have read as far as educating us on the need in Ethiopia to help the over 4 million orphans.

Ethiopian Children Adopted from the US
Fiscal Year Number of Immigrant Visas Issued
FY 2006 731
FY 2005 440
FY 2004 289
FY 2003 135
FY 2002 105

Some Statistics:
• One in ten children die before their first birthday
• One in six children die before their fifth birthday
• 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
• 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
• The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years
• 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
• 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.
• Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
• In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)
• Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
• Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
• Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
• Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
• In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

7 Weeks in Waiting

Scott and I were reading another blog the other night that just picked up their little girl from Ethiopia. They, too, are using Gladney. They said that the orphanage was completely full with 20 babies, all under 9 months. They also said that only 3 had been referred and the rest had been matched, meaning that they're waiting on all of their medical testing, etc. to finish up before they're referred. So what I'm getting at is that one of those remaining 17 babies could be ours, we just don't know it yet! I'm trying to not get my hopes up. I keep thinking of things that would make the process longer so as not to get my hopes up. Like, the additional PCR HIV test we ordered. (They already do one Rapid test and 1 PCR test.) They have to wait for the results before they do the second PCR test. This would delay our referral some, but we would never know it. It's 7 weeks today since our dossier was sent off and it seems like some people are finding out as soon as 2 months.

Max is going through an extremely clingy stage at 17 months, and Bryce (3) still hasn't gotten all the way out of it. Actually, Bryce isn't clingy, he's just really needy if he's tired, and unfortunatley he's not the best sleeper. He is getting much better though about not waking up in the middle of the night. He's also recently gotten better about staying in bed at bedtime. We have to threaten to throw away his Halloween candy, of which he's not really eating anyway, but regardless he does not want us to throw it away, so he's been staying in bed. With Bryce, it's kind of like you do whatever works. At least Bryce is still napping. I keep thinging that even if we were referred today and travel in 6-8 weeks, that maybe that's enough time for both Max and Bryce to get out of their clingyness. That's probably a lot of wishful thinking.

Meanwhile, Scott and I have been filling our free time watching Hague videos to satisfy their new requirements. We have 4 hours left. We keep thinking that if we finish our hours, then they'll see that we're ready. At least Scott and I are ready. Oscar can't wait. Don't know about Max and Bryce.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Two Different Kinds of Love

A friend of ours posted this poem on her family's blogsite when they were adopting from Columbia. It was written by a Colombian birth mother that was giving up her child. I found it so revealling that I asked Barbara if she would mind if we posted it on ours. It says the world from both sides of the story....

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other
One you do not remember
The other you call Mother
Two different lives
Shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star
The other became your sun
The first one gave you life
And the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love
The second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality
The other gave you a name
One gave you a talent
The other gave you an aim
One gave you emotions
The other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile
The other dried your tears
One sought for you a home -that she could not provide
The other prayed for a child - and her hopes were not denied
And now you ask me through your tears
The age-old question Unanswered through the years
Heredity or environment?
Which are you a product of?
Neither my darling, neither
Just two different kinds of love

Monday, November 5, 2007

"Eyes wide open" ... well not quite yet, but getting closer

As said in a previous post, Emily and I have been busy trying to better educate ourselves with regards to culture, race, Africa, and Ethiopia. It is amazing what you think you know until your eyes are opened to what you don't know. I think it is tough to "know" much about all four of those things growing up in a middle to upperclass white family living in white suburbia unless you actively search out information.

We watched the movie God Grew Tired of Us over the weekend. Orphaned by a tumultuous civil war and traveling barefoot across the sub-Saharan desert, John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach and Panther Blor were among the 25,000 “Lost Boys” (ages 3 to 13) who fled villages, formed surrogate families and sought refuge from famine, disease, wild animals and attacks from rebel soldiers. Named by a journalist after Peter Pan’s posse of orphans who protected and provided for each other, the “Lost Boys” traveled together for five years and against all odds crossed into the UN’s refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. A journey’s end for some, it was only the beginning for John, Daniel and Panther, who along with 3800 other young survivors, were selected to re-settle in the United States.
The movie was eye opening to say the least. The most incredible thing to me was the drive that John Dau (one of the "Lost Boys") had to not only be successful himself but to transfer that success into help towards his country. In addition to sending money directly to his family and friends at the refugee camp, he has set up a foundation to build medical clinics in Sudan.
The cliff note version:
- a boy that survives a thousand mile walk through Africa with no other means besides other kids like himself
- he lives in a refugee camp on the brink of starvation for 5-7 years
- he is relocated to the US, where he works multiple jobs a day and gets an education
- he uses his freedom to devote his life towards helping the boys/men still at the refugee camp and to set up medical clinics in Sudan

If he can accomplish that, what are we supposed to accomplish (from a humanitarian prospective)?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Adding On

I keep forgetting who we've told and who we haven't told about our adoption. I keep thinking we've told everyone, then we run across someone that for some reason or another we haven't told. For example, every year our neighborhood has a great big Halloween block party. Everyone comes to the block party, then when it gets dark, the kids scatter and start their trick-or-treating. Not only are we adopting, but we are also going to add on an office/spare bedroom to our house. Our family room has high ceilings that go all the way to the second story. We're going to floor it (put a lower ceiling on) so that the new room will be upstairs. Scott had told one of our neighbors up the street that we're adding on. So I'm standing between two neighbors at the party when one asks about how are adoption is going. I tell her that we're done with the paperwork and that we're on the wait list and that we're very excited. I never said the word 'adoption' so I guess the exact same answer could be applied to our house addition. I guess my other neighbor didn't hear the question because about five seconds later, she says to me "So, Scott tells me you're adding on." Then she goes on saying "That's the best thing I've heard anyone doing! I wish we could have done it ourselves." Then I say, "Wow, we normally get really positive responses, but that's the best response yet!" I'm thinking she's talking about the adoption. She then kind of had a blank look on her face when I realize she's talking about the house. For some reason, the news of our adoption hadn't spread to her. Scott and I just keep going around, assuming everyone already knows. My apologies to anyone we haven't told. We haven't intentionally not told anyone, we just keep thinking we already have told everyone. Also, within our group of friends, news sometimes travels rather fast. So we've figured that if we didn't say something, then it has already traveled through the grapevine. So here it is, we're adding on 1) another child and 2) another room.