Thursday, January 20, 2011


First let me say I really wish I would post more!  But this week I have been working a few extra hours since Marc is having Lasik surgery and I need to take off to drive him home.  So my cushy schedule now has me driving into work at 6 am and driving home well after 5:30.  Between cooking dinner and trying to keep up with my New Year's resolution to stick to a workout routine (running), not much time.  And of course the furry ones are all over me from the moment I walk in the door.  You try to type while a 95 pd mutt is head butting you for attention.
This is the Chief Head Butter.
But just wanted to give an update.  I emailed Kiersten about the FDL letter and our generous parameters of 0-12  years.  She said this could be ok, but since we had time we should try and get USCIS to issue a new letter with the correct information.  She gave us an email and phone number.
So after contacting the agency, they agreed to change it!  We should get a new letter this week.  At first the woman told me "I did your letter and I would not have made that mistake."  I had to bite back a response (but you did).  She then said ok I'll send a new letter, no problem.
So as soon as we get that letter, we will send in our notary sheets and be referral ready. 
Not that it means anything will move quickly.  No referrals in how long?  Weeks.  We've only moved 4 spots on the boys list in 2 months.  I can't imagine how the families that are #1 or 2 or 3 are feeling right now.  Our prayers are with them. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good News and Not so Good News

First the good news.  We had our biometrics appointment just last Friday.  When I got home yesterday, in the mail was our Favorable Determination Letter.  That was quick!

Hold off on the celebration- our age parameters are 0-12 months but the FDL lists it as 0-12 years.  I sent a copy to AGCI this morning asking if we need to contact USCIS about changing their mistake.  I haven't heard back yet.  Dang it - if we do need to change it who knows how long it will take.

It's always something. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meet the Kids


He is my constant.  Named after the ball in Castaway, he has been my most wonderful boy for almost 10 years.  He is loyal, loving, goofy, always ready for a treat, a walk or a ride.  He loves to swim almost as much as he loves pancakes and peanut butter.  He has been with me through so many changes in my life, always resting his head on my lap whenever I felt down.  He loves everyone he meets and has a joy for life.  He only needs two things to make him truly happy - his mom and food, and not necessarily in that order.


My shelter dog.  I adopted her almost 8 years ago.  She is beautiful, inside and out.  She is protective, yet loving.  She especially is fond of children.  The UPS guy, not so much.  She is a 95 pd lap dog who loves to give kisses and to cuddle.  Her favorite food is bologna and quite possibly rabbit.  I call her the neighborhood sheriff as she tries her best to maintain order on our street.  She is a sensitive girl who has made such strides since her days as a scared shelter pup.  She is my heart.


Can you say Diva?  Kenley is my 2 year old Jack Russell Mix.  She is the smallest member of our household, but she pretty much runs the show.  She is tenacious and tends to be vocal when she is not happy which is anytime she is not getting attention.  She loves chews, wrestling with her brother, following her sister, and cuddling with mom.  And yes, she has dad wrapped around her paw as well.  Her motto is "I will not be ignored!"  She is my babe and life is certainly more interesting with her in it.

So here they are.  The good,

The Sweet,

And the Goofy.

This is the family.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

How We Came to Adopt

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to have children.  I have wanted to be a mom.
Adoption didn't enter my mind back then.  I just always assumed I would give birth to my children. 
I first thought of adoption in 1998.  At that time my older sister and her husband started the process of adopting a baby girl from China.  I remember reading updates of their journey and thinking wow.  When they brought Katie home I was so happy for her. 
I think I started thinking of adoption as something I might do back in 2002.  At that time I moved to Colorado.  I work for a government agency that allows me to work in different areas of the country if there is an opening in my field.  I have worked in the Southwest, Northeast and Pacific Northwest Regions of the United States.  But moving to Colorado was special to me because it meant being as close as I could get to my family, all of whom live in New Mexico. 
I remember discussing marriage and children with a close friend.  I remember saying I could accept not getting married, not finding the right person to share my life with, but I would feel so incomplete if I were to miss out on being a mom.  I wasn't in a relationship at the time and maybe I was a little jaded from the relationships I had been involved in, but I do remember saying I did not want to go through a pregnancy alone and if I were still single at 38, I would adopt internationally. 
But things don't always go as planned.
In 2003, I became seriously ill.  I developed a blood clot in my portal vein and was hospitalized for several weeks.  The doctors were unable to determine at the time what caused the clot.  While I have recovered and have not developed any other blood clots since then, I have been told by several different doctors that they do not recommend I become pregnant.  That the hormonal changes that occur in your body with pregnancy could cause me to develop another clot.  That the increased blood flow that occurs in your body with pregnancy would tax the one major vein that was damaged by my previous clot.  I remember fighting back tears as I heard this time and time again.  I remember the dual feeling of being punched in the stomach and having my heart ripped out as my dream of motherhood faded.  It was during this time that I researched international adoption, requesting information packets, but still for some reason holding out. 
In 2006, I met Marc.  I knew almost immediately that he was the person I would share my life with.  I remember telling him early on in our relationship that while I wanted to be a mother, I could not have children.  That if he wanted to be a father, and he wanted to be with me, he would have to be open to adoption.  Luckily for me he was. 
In the midst of our dating, our engagement and planning for our wedding, I again looked into international adoption.  And for the first time I came across the Ethiopia program.  I think at this time I assumed we would adopt from China or South Korea.  But something about Ethiopia was calling to me.   But I'm not sure if I was stubborn or scared, but it took a while to listen.
I visited a couple of different doctors hoping that one would tell me what I wanted to hear.  They didn't.  I responded by closing off a piece of myself.  I didn't mention family or children to Marc.  We traveled quite a bit and we discussed all the places we wanted to travel in our lifetime, all the adventures we would have together.  Just us two.  I consoled myself by becoming a mom to 3 furry faces - our dogs.  And I became possibly the coolest most generous aunt to my two nieces.  
I was in denial.  Every time a celebrity announced a pregnancy, every time a co-worker became pregnant, every time I was asked by someone - when are you going to start having kids, you're not getting any younger.   Every time these happened I felt little pins being pushed in my heart.  I would acknowledge yes I wasn't getting younger, but we'll see.  I didn't owe anyone an explanation of my health or fertility status, but people can be cruel even if it is unintentional.  As a defense mechanism I almost gave up the idea of motherhood.  To his credit, Marc never pressured me.  I think he was waiting for me to resolve my feelings.  And I chose, at that time, to abandon my dream. But I was never at peace.  Every question about starting a family, every baby picture I would see, updates from family and friends about their families were all constant reminders of what I was missing out on. 
So early this year I began looking again at the adoption literature.  And again I was drawn to Ethiopia.  Of course I had questions and I had doubts.  But that is where this wonderful tool came into play.  The internet, the blog.  Reading the stories of other families who had journeyed to Ethiopia, sharing their struggles and witnessing their joy, it became evident to me - I was meant to adopt from Ethiopia.  My child will come from this wonderful beautiful country. 
So this summer after 2 years of marriage and as I was approaching turning 40, I told Marc I think it is time.  We looked into different agencies, narrowed down our choices and finally decided to apply.  And it was as if a heavy burden was lifted from me.  All those doctors who told me I couldn't become pregnant, never told me I wouldn't become a mother.  I will.  I have a different path to motherhood and I feel such indescribable peace now.  Never have I felt so certain about any decision I have made in my life.  This is right.  This is how it will be.  And I am so in love with a child I have never met.  I am so grateful to a woman I have never met.
And here we are.  Six months later we are on the wait list.  We are anxious to become parents, terrified of becoming parents, daunted yet excited by the challenges and the joys that parenthood will bring. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Hello Everyone
This blog is intended to be a record of our lives and hearts as we embark on our journey to our son or daughter in Ethiopia.
The lowdown.
In 2008, Marc and I got married.  Marc is a Project Manager  for a technology company and I am a government attorney. 
In June 2009, we applied to All God's Children International to adopt a baby boy or girl from Ethiopia.
We are on the wait list with current "official" numbers of 66 Boy and 89 Girl.
More to come on how God led us to adoption.  But for now excuse the sparseness of this blog.  I am a child of the 80's and technologically challenged.  I will slowly adopt a more pleasing aesthetic, I hope! Any suggestions are welcome......