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.

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

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,


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.