Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Still waiting.............

I haven't posted lately, because we have been soo bummed and not any really exciting news to share. We really thought we would have received "the call" before Christmas! We didn't, and John and I are still waiting for a referral. We are approaching 8 months!! The bummer news is that I found out we were actually pushed back in line a bit. I didn't know this was possible. But it is. Apparently, if a family with their dossier in line in front of us, changes their preference to what we are requesting, then they are in front of us. Only because they have been waiting longer than us. Meaning...if a family originally requested siblings, and decided to change to an infant female, then they will be ahead of us. Luckily, this doesn't happen much, but it can - and it did! At least twice! So that number six that I have been boasting about isn't even accurate. Who knows what number we are. Luckily, we have moved down in line, so we just will wait patiently. :) I think we are lower than six at this point.




The good news is last week our agency gave out EIGHT referrals. Most of them were boys! So if I had not have changed our paperwork from stating "no preference, male or female" to only female, we would received a referral last week and it would have been a boy. Our agency is closed for two weeks for the holidays, and will reopen on January 5th. Hopefully when they return there will be a lot of great news from Ethiopia and maybe it will be raining referrals again! Here is the last update from our agency -

Ethiopia Update 12-19-08
Dear Families

Our office will be closing today at 1pm to celebrate Christmas with the staff. We will reopen on January 5th. The Ethiopia team wishes everyone a very joyous Christmas and a glorious and prosperous New Year.

Traveling families
We will have 7 families traveling over the next two weeks to bring their children home . What a wonderful Christmas gift. Congratulations to all the families. These 7 families will bring a total of 8 children home. We wish them a safe journey.

This month we received a total of 16 children for referral, including one little 14 month old boy and a 10 month old boy who were just referred today. We will be closing out 2008 with at total of 74 children home. We are expecting to more than double that number of adoptions in 2009. So keep the faith, for those who are still waiting, your day is just around the corner.

Court Dates
With the number of adoptions taking place in Ethiopia and the limited number of officials handling adoptions there, we can expect court dates to be pushed out a little in 2009, in order to process all of the adopt cases there.

HOH (House of Hope)
The HOH can accommodate 50 children; and it is at capacity at this point. This does not stop us from receiving additional referrals. Some of the children will stay at their orphanage until families travel for their children and more room is made at the HOH for other children to move in. Yet some other children stay at their orphanage until the court takes place, per the contract with the orphanage. There are currently 10 nannies, 1 pediatrician and 1 nurse on staff to help take care of the children. Actually our entire incountry staff of 22 assist with taking care of the children. Many of them are hands on with the children, doing whatever they can to assist, as many of you know who have already traveled.

Dossier
For families working on your dossier, please remember to have your adoption consultant to review your documents prior to sending it for state certification. If there are changes that need to be made, it's better to catch them early prior to having the documents state certified and possibly having to have them certified again, should there be an error.

Please be reminded as well that families who have reference letters, or other documents in the dossier from a state other then where you live, that document will have to go back to the state where it was notarized for State Certification. So you may want to consider a reference who lives in your same state.

2009 Fee Increase
Please be reminded that there will be a fee increase for new families entering the Ethiopia program at the start of the new year. If you know of someone who is contemplating adopting, please have them to submit their application before the end of the year so that they will be on the current fee schedule.

Office Closure
This year the CHI offices will be closed for 2 weeks for the Christmas/New Year holiday. The last day in the office for CHI staff will be Friday 12/19/08; (we will only be open ½ day, in the morning) and the office will not reopen until Monday 1/5/09. I will not be sending out a weekly update during the 2 weeks that the office is closed unless there is urgent information to inform you of. Likewise there will be no dossiers sent to Washington DC, the week of Dec. 15th until we return. Also, should there be any referrals that come during the two weeks that the office is closed, the children will be referred upon our return. There are no additional adoption cases scheduled to be heard in the Ethiopia court until January.



Jesus is the reason for the season, Merry Christmas!!!.

Sharon M. Turner

Ethiopia Program Director
em>

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Seven Months.....

Seven months. It really has flown by! It seems like most referrals for families come about this point. We are still hoping for the call before Christmas. If not..that's ok! We know its soon. There are a few families in Ethiopia right now and probably getting ready to fly home with their new little babies. I am finally starting to kick in to baby mode. Just think about it. Our little girl has already been born.


John and I finally made the decision on which room in our home to make the nursery. We chose the room with the cathedral ceiling and it is painted in an eggplant purple color. This was a guestroom with a cherry sleigh bed. John has always pictured this room for the baby! So, my intention was to have it painted a girlie pastel color. I thought the eggplant color was too dark for a nursery! After taking a poll of a lot of our family members and friends, they all have told us not to paint it!



Trying to find some cute baby bedding for that color is a little challenging. Especially when the everything I find is lavender, pink or yellow! So this weekend, John and I set out to find something, because we need to get this done! I finally found some fabric for the bedding and window treatment. I am excited to get the fabric ordered and off to be made!






Stay tuned!


















Nursery in progress.............
Lets hope for some referrals this week for all the families waiting! It has been two weeks since anyone has received one! I think its about time!
Dear Families,

HAPPY FRIDAY !!!!

As we enter the holiday season, I pray that you will be filled with much joy, love, contentment, peace and a heart of thanksgiving that will carry you not only during this season but in the New Year and beyond.

We are so happy to announce that our first two families with visa appointments since the courts reopened in Ethiopia have returned home.We send our heartfelt congratulations out to the families and to the children who are now have a new mom and dad and a place to call HOME!Also we are thrilled to announce that two of our special needs children have been placed from our special needs/waiting children's site.
We have prayed (as many of you have) that the Lord would send their parents forth, and He has done just that. Thank all of you who prayed for these little angels as well, and God Bless the families who will have the honor of parenting these children.

Currently there are 3 families in country. Two had their visa appointments on yesterday and will be traveling home early next week,and the other family is in country for the IR-3 visa and had successful court date on yesterday.

Congratulations to all of the happy families.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holey smokes!!!!

More referrals are coming. I am amazed. This is what I received in my email today! We have to be getting closer....a few other adoption buddies told me today they think we will get the call in 2 weeks! I am thinking, maybe we will get the call in mid to late December. We need to finish the nursery....all we have is the furniture. We cant figure out the colors or what bedding. The House of Hope (where the babies stay in Ethiopia after leaving the orphanage and wait for their forever families to pick them up) has to be getting full. I hope there is some room left, so the referrals can keep coming!!


Here is a photo of the House of Hope. This is where we will go to pick up our baby girl.




Dear Families,


More referrals have come!! Last week it was boys and this week it's raining girl referrals. The Ethiopia team is thrilled to have received 5 new referrals on yesterday. Four girls and 1 boy. The girls are ages 2 months (2) and 3 ½ months (2). The little boy was placed on our waiting children's website today, so please keep your eyes on that site and pray that those children find their forever homes soon.


The children are from 3 different orphanages and the families waited just a little over 7 months. Congratulations to all of the families!!!!!


Sharon M. Turner


Monday, November 17, 2008

Today......

In my email today.........

Dear Families,
We received another referral in the Ethiopia program today; a little 2month old baby boy. Congratulations to the happy couple.


Sharon M. Turner
Ethiopia Program Director


Its great to hear the that Ethiopia program is going STRONG! So how about some girl referrals!?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

IT'S STILL RAINING REFERRALS!

Things are moving along! Here is the activity that happened yesterday...


Dear Families,

It's still raining referrals in the Ethiopia program. Today we received4 more referrals. All boys, ages 19 months, 7 months and two boys who are were 2 months (unrelated). No siblings this time around. I suspect that there is a whole lot of praying going on out there. :-)Congratulations to all of the families and to the precious children who will find their forever homes.
Hold on to your hats. You could be next.


Many Blessigns,
Sharon M. Turner
Ethiopia Program Director


I left out that one family who has been waiting 11 months for siblings heard on Monday that they are getting twin boys! They are 2 months old right now! Yes...a Lot of boys lately! BUT..that doesn't mean we are staying at the same place in line. Many of the families who are waiting are open to either gender. So depending on how many families chose either, we could have easily moved up 2 or 3 spots. WE could be at 10 or 11!! Hopefully I can find out soon!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SIX months.......still waiting


We are about to hit the 6 month mark. Waiting is hard, I never thought it would be!!! I think its just the unknown. I hope we get a referral by Christmas! That would be the best present of all! As of yesterday, we were #14 in line waiting for an infant girl. By yesterday afternoon we dropped down to #13! Here is the email I received -

Dear Families,
The Ethiopia team is happy to announce another referral given out today. A 5 ½ month old baby girl. We've sent another family "over the moon" with joy. :-)
Congratulations.!!!!

Sharon M. Turner
Ethiopia Program Director


So we are just doing the math at this point. Every time an infant girl referral comes through then we can subtract one from the list! Lets hope for some more this week!

Here are some photos of our little pumpkin.....




The boys, hanging out... (notice how Bosco always sits on the stairs!)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Exciting news today!

I recieved this in my email today......

Dear Families,
We are pleased to announce the referral of 5 children today and 1 yesterday.
The children are: 3 girls and 3 boys ranging in age from 6 months to 6years old. Actually - 6 mos, 11 mos, 13mos, 20 mos, 21mos and 6 yrs. Congratulations to all of the families and hopefully this will encourage those that still wait to know that referrals continue to come in and your time will come as well. These families waited between 3 to 7months for their referrals.
Unfortunately no sibling groups were in with these referrals. Pleaseknow that the US staff as well as our Ethiopia staff realize how long several of you have waited for your sibling referrals and we are looking forward to the day when we can call you and offer you your referrals. Keep the faith.


That is very exciting news...I have no idea where we are in line, but I know its getting closer. We are about to hit the 6 month mark. I spent all afternoon thinking about what it will be like to get the call and when we first see her little face in a photo.


All for now....

Friday, October 3, 2008

I know..im a bad blogger!

We just haven't had any exciting news....but now we do! Its been alittle over 5 months!! It feels good to be moving closer to the front of the line! The last couple of weeks has been awesome for Children's Hope International...our agency. Five referrals during the first week of October. Last week there were a few more, one baby girl was only 7 weeks old!


Its pretty exciting..since these families who received their referrals were in the batch of dossiers that have been waiting since the end of March. So, our referral could be coming soon?! It would depend on how many families started their waiting in April. Those families would be in line in front of us, since we started the wait on May 6th.


So we finally have some baby furniture!! It was delivered last week. Its really cute, and we are excited to get the nursery ready. I will post some photos when we get closer to getting it completed! We waited to get closer to the window of the referral, to start the nursery - just in case it takes longer. We couldn't stand the thought of waiting for months and months with a empty nursery upstairs!


We have had a hard time making a decision on what room to use for the baby! One of our guest bedrooms is painted a deep eggplant color. The dramatic cathedral ceilings makes it a perfect room for the baby, but its so hard to decorate around that color! I even picked out a white crib, chest, dresser and hutch to hopefully lighten it up. SO we are now looking at possibly painting that room, or just using the bedroom next to it. So hard to decide!

Outside of adoption news, John and I have been enjoying our once a month trips. A couple weeks ago we flew to Burlington, Vermont. From Burlington we rented a car and took a beautiful drive into Canada. The leaves were just starting to change! Our destination was Montreal. We spent two wonderful nights in the Hotel Le Palace D'Arms. This hotel was fabulous. This was our room-











And then on to Quebec City!






Its a rainy day in Kansas City today. Definitely fall weather..October will be a busy month for us. We are hosting a get together at our home next week. John was able to get in touch with many old friends from his junior high he attended in Branson, using Facebook. A lot of them ended up in KC! We also have the Big Brother/Big Sister Halloween party that we are taking Lucas to! We need plan our costumes soon! At the end of the month we will be taking another fun trip to Toronto, Canada.
That's all the news for now! We are eagerly waiting for more referrals to come rolling in!
Here is another funny video...taken at work!



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Introducing.....................


Well......we can at least pretend. :) Actually, these cutie pies belong to Shawn and Lisa. We were very lucky to have the opportunity to meet them at the airport when they arrived home from Ethiopia. It was such a neat experience to meet Bethi and Amanuel! They are both such special children! Congrats Shawn and Lisa! It was so nice share a few moments with you and your new family! How fun to meet someone in this crazy adoption world and watch this whole process come full circle! I cant wait until we have some play dates in the future!

~

So, seeing these two sweeties has me back in the mood to think BABY! Like this adoption really might happen! It gets hard waiting. I know its ONLY been 4 months...but to not have an idea if its going to be 4, 5, or 6 months until you get a call is hard! I think we need to start the nursery. I have been putting it off thinking I will jinx our adoption in some way if I am TOO prepared. Kinda crazy thinking..

John and I have been doing some window shopping for nursery furniture. This is the set I think we are getting ready to order! NOW..if we could only agree on which room to make the nursery!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Does your Dentist do this? Part 2

Another dental office web cam video. I requested the worm!! :-)
And yes....we DO see patients!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Almost...

Its hard to believe that we are approaching the 4 month mark! I used to look at the 4 month mark as the "window" of actually getting a call for a referral. I hope we are getting into the window!! I think we are getting closer, but there hasn't been ANY referrals for the waiting families in quite a few weeks. We need to get a batch or two of referrals given out to move us up in line! When our dossier made it to Ethiopia, there were about 40 dossiers in front of ours. Luckily there were quite a few referrels given out since then, so we are hopefully in the 20's!

What is amazing though, is now there are close to 100 dossiers from our agency in Ethiopia right now. The wait times are getting longer. The wait time estimate used to be 4-6 months. I think right around the time when we completed everything the wait was extended to 6-12 months! Even though we are getting closer, I feel that its still so far away. We havent even started the nursery! The wait its starting to get hard........

But good news is....our adoption friends Shawn and Lisa are in Ethiopia right now!!!! (check out their blog) They left Saturday morning for the long journey to Addis. Right now..its late afternoon in Addis Ababa. So that means, they met there children a few hours ago. I cant wait to get an update from her!!! I cant stop thinking about them and what its been like on their journey!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Too funny....

This was recored with the web cam at the office Does your dentist do this?!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Last weekend!

Things are WAY to quiet in the adoption world right now. I am really hoping to hear that some families are receiving referrals sometime soon?!?! I think all of us waiting families were getting spoiled that last few months hearing about other familes getting "the call"! Our agency has 2 or 3 families in ET now picking up children and 7 more will travel later this month. It has slowed down a bit...which is making our wait even longer!


So while we wait... John and I drove to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to his parents lake home. We thought it would be fun to take our little brother Lucas. This was a new experience for Lucas. He has never been on a boat or even around a lake! Lucas also did an awesome job on the 12 hour car ride from KC to Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin! I am posting some photos taken over the weekend.

We also had some VERY thoughtful family throw us a baby shower. Hopefully I will have some photos to post soon! Thank you Bob and Mary Kay, for hosting such a nice afternoon!


Lucas on his first ever boat ride - and he's driving!





Johns brother Mike (expert water skier) giving Lucas a lesson







Mike and Lucas










A visit to the hot dog stand





Lucas and our nephew Vlasty




The Boys



Sunday, August 3, 2008

BBQ and other fun things.....

Saturday was fun! Thank you to everyone who came to our home. We enjoyed the company and all the food everyone brought!



It was nice to see everyone again and meet new families who are sharing the experiences were are in this adoption process. I think we need to plan an evening out with everyone to meet up for some Ethiopian Cuisine! Unfortunately..I didn't take ANY photos! What was I thinking?!! Oh well, we just got caught up on chatting away with everyone.



We are also sending a prayer and good thoughts to Shawn and Lisa to make it through court tomorrow so they can be on there way to pick up their little ones. Lisa..you have to let me know as soon as you hear!!



Other thoughts...last week our "little brother" Lucas had a judo tournament. We really enjoyed watching him! John was so excited about it, he decide to participate in a match! I am so proud of him. Its been a few months since he has to his judo club, due to an injury. John was able to borrow a gi and here is the outcome-

(John is a black belt...but since he didn't have his gi with him, he used a competition belt which is red)
****Notice his dance move!







Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kansas City Area adopting families! (who might read this blog)

My husband and I are having a get-together at my home for Ethiopian Adoptive Families! We would like to meet other families in our area!(Families currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia or those who have adopted from Ethiopia). I have posted this on the CHI Yahoo group and the local KC group

It will be on Saturday, August 2nd at 4:00pm.We can visit about our experiences, offer advice, make contacts, andwatch Ethiopian episode of Adoption Stories which I have recorded if people are interested. Please contact me if you are interested in attending so I can get a head count and we can plan for food. I will be supplying barbecue and baked beans, but will request everyone to bring one item! Please email me if you are interested! amandazabel@gmail.com

Thank you!
John and Amanda

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chicago!!

Just returned from a fun girls trip in Chicago! We left on Friday and returned Sunday afternoon. I must recommend the Amalfi Hotel. The hotel is a trendy boutique hotel, with great service and fabulous accommodations. The view...well, not the best but the location was great!

Dinner at Smith and Wollensky was awesome. They are very serious about their steaks!


Some shopping on Michigan Avenue...



We also went to the Blue Man Group show....this was my 2nd time. It was even better than the first!


After the show..on to the Hancock Building an up to the 96th floor to the Signature Room for some Champagne and dessert!



Then to Navy Pier to watch a fireworks show on a boat in Lake Michigan....

And before heading home....a quick visit to Johns parents condo where (which is pretty fabulous too) to see the family. Thanks for the brunch and a ride to the airport!


Back in KC.....and back to the real world.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Two Months!








Two months down! Today marks exactly two months waiting since our dossier has been in Ethiopia! Time is really going by fast! I finally feel like we can start thinking about the nursery. Yesterday, John and I went shopping and browsed for baby furniture. Decorating and shopping for furniture is absolutely one of my most favorite things to do! Now..if John and I could just agree on which room to make the baby's room...I could start painting! Well, or maybe we could hire the painter. Because both of us are horrible at painting and ruined many carpets, ceilings and trim in the past trying to do it ourselves.



We are still hoping for a referral in the fall. We are really wanting to bring home our little girl by Christmas.


Other great things that come in twos?! Our boys...Billy and Bosco. I purchased a new digital camera so I can learn to use it before the little one arrives. Here are some photos of the boys.

















Go Royals!








Billy's Passport Photo










Billy with my niece Katy and my cousin Mark

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Referrals in the Ethiopia Program

Exciting news today on the adoption front! 6 Referrals we given out to families waiting today. I think today is even more special because our local friends Shawn and Lisa received their referral of siblings! We met Shawn and Lisa when we were first started the adoption process in December. I look forward to Lisa's emails and postings everyday! We are so excited for them. They have waited a long 7 months...and it came today!!!Congrats to you Shawn and Lisa! We cant wait to meet them and I'm excited for the day our little ones will have play dates together!

Congratulation to all the other families who received referral's! Just in time before the courts close for a few months in Ethiopia.

If my calculations are right.....there is a possibly we might be getting THE phone call in August or September!?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ouch!!

Its time for travel immunizations. John and I both just visited the overseas travel clinic in our county health department. They only get in a few yellow fever vaccines each year and reserved a couple for us! We are hearing so many different list of vaccines that we need, so we just decided better to be safe than sorry and just to get all that are recommended for travel to Ethiopia by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I have to admit I was so nervous and have a horrible fear of shots! (even though I see patients getting injections every day at the dental office!) After it was over with...it wasn't so bad! As soon as our arms feel better, and we make it through the 5-10 day wait for side effects, I will be going back for 5 more!!

Here is some great news! Our adoption agency today announced that its raining referrals again! Its been a few weeks and today 4 families received word on getting their children. Its always so exciting to hear this...that means that we are moving up in line and getting closer to bringing home our baby.

Some other families from our agency recently came home from Ethiopia. We really enjoying reading their blogs and checking out the photos. Go check out Annies blog..her little girl is a doll!! http://www.anniesadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/

Also the McGregors recently returned home with their son! http://mcgregorjourney.blogspot.com/

Cute kids! We cant wait!