Saturday, December 18, 2010

Swallowed By Paperwork

Or, at least that is how I feel right now.  We've been busy around here collecting, preparing, filing paperwork.  I believe that I personally have killed at least 20 trees...All of this work is either prepping for the home study (more on that later) or for our dossier.  
What we've completed so far:
-certified copies of our birth certificates 
-certified copy of our marriage license
-statement of our finances from our CPA because Peter is self-employed
-filed for our criminal checks
-photos of our family printed
-power of attorney letter drawn up
-Letter of Obligation
-copies of our passports (we'll probably have to get our renewed, though-they expire of May 2012)
-statement of non-employment, and reason, for me

What we still need to do:
-Confirm our home study agency
-notarize EVERYTHING
-Hague training (10 hours)
-Self Awareness Quiz through CHI
-Reference letters (3)
-Complete course on Adopting from African Countries through CHI
-1 million other things I'm forgetting

Seems like a lot, doesn't it?  I guess that is why they say this part of the process takes 3-6 months!  By the way, did you know that Quincy is not really part of the state of Illinois?  It may as well be its own country for all I know.  We're having such a hard time selecting our home study agency!  Our adoption agency doesn't have a license to complete home studies in Illinois anymore so we were given a list to select one for ourselves.  Man, I'm telling you it is discouraging...there are no agencies capable of completing a home study in Quincy and not many people willing to travel here.  We've been left with 3 choices, Baptist Services, Catholic Charities or Lutheran Family Services.  Our choice is largely going to come down to time to get this completed-the Baptists and Catholic Charities require you to be foster care licensed (can take between 4 and 6 months!!!) before they'll begin the home study process.  At one time, adopting from Ethiopia would have required us to become foster care licensed, but since the in-country visit rules have changed, we no longer need the license.  Lutheran Services are a lot more expensive but they don't require the license for Ethiopian adoptions and can get to us in January (hopefully).  So, in the interest of time, we're thinking of going with the Lutheran Services.  I cannot wait to have all of our portions completed and be a "waiting" family-seems like a long way off.

By the way, Peter added a "donate" button to the blog if you feel inclined to donate to the adoption.  We're still working out our t-shirt details (Peter may change his design 10 more times if I let him)-hopefully we'll have some ready to order soon!  

Friday, December 3, 2010


All I can say is that you all, our dear friends and family, are awesome!  You have reacted to the news of us adopting with so much excitement and encouragement-it just blows us away!  Many of you have asked what you can do to help, so here it goes:

#1 PRAY-this is most important!  Pray for patience for us as this process continues.  Pray for the birth mother to have a healthy pregnancy-she may be carrying our child right now.  Pray for the perfect match for our family, whatever that might mean.  Pray for finances to roll in, we know God can cover all of our financial needs through this and we are counting on this.

#2  FUNDRAISING-Peter has created an amazing design for a t-shirt that we'll be selling to raise funds.  Please buy one!  We aren't sure about the cost yet, but they will be personally screen printed by Peter on American Apparel t-shirts.  I think we're going to make little kid sizes too-so get excited.  Also, Peter created a line of greeting cards, Zorazon cards, that are also for sale.  These are original creations from family photographs...see examples below.  There are a total of 24 different cards, 12 in each pack (the yellow and red packs contain a different assortment of cards).  The cost will be $10 (plus shipping if you live outside of Quincy).

#3 DONATIONS- If you feel led to donate to our adoption, we would welcome that blessing!  Another idea, save your coke rewards (that little code inside the package or under the bottle top).  Peter and I often can make a fun activity through redeeming coke rewards and our entertainment budget can go directly into the adoption fund.  Also, if you get a Sunday paper, but don't use the coupons, can I have them?  We're looking at shaving off hundreds from our grocery bill each month and every little bit helps. I hope I don't sound too forward in asking for these things, but I figure that if you are reading this, you know me well enough for me to ask :)

Thank you all so much for being with us on this journey-we love you all!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just got a call last night from the director of Children's Hope International (our adoption agency) and WE'RE APPROVED!  They said to expect 2 weeks for the approval and we waited 3 days!  I sure hope everything is this ahead of their timelines...right  now we're looking at bringing home a child somewhere between 19 months-25 months from now.  Wow-that seems like forever away!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Picture That Made It Real

Friends sent us this picture along with an article about Ethiopia.  Doesn't that girl on the far right look like Lydia?  It really moved me that there is a little girl just the same age, with the same curly hair, holding her little doll as my daughter-but living in total poverty, eating out of the trash that the hotels throw out on the other side of the world. After a lot of tears (just from this photo), I knew what we were supposed to do and Ethiopia became where we were going to adopt from.

Adoption Here We Come!

Well-it's official!  We've decided to adopt from Ethiopia!  This is a HUGE decision for us in more ways than one and we are so excited!  Currently our application is in St. Louis and we're waiting to hear that we've been approved.
Why adopt (you may be asking)?  Honestly, it is something that young (21 year old) Peter and Erin discussed before marriage (and MANY times since).  I've always had a heart for children and adoption has always seemed like a necessary part of parenthood to me.  We ARE able to have children of our own-we have 2 daughters already and they are beautiful and fun and wonderful...but something has always compelled me towards the child who was orphaned.  God's heart beats for the orphan, He says it over and over again in the Bible.   And really, if I want to be a follower of His, I should act like him and my heart should beat for the same things that His heart beats for.   Through the years, we thought and prayed over adoption many, domestic, foster care name it and we've looked into it.  For years, we've gone back and forth about the "right" fit for our family.  The only thing that I was certain of was that we wanted to do God's will in this situation, whatever that meant.  Why Ethiopia?  The only real answer I can give is that our eyes have been opened to the needs of that country.  I truly believe that in God's eyes, no one orphan is any more important than another.  However, in Ethiopia, there are 5 million (!) orphans who are in desperate need.  The country as a whole is in desperate need and I can't do much to change an entire country, but I can change the life of one child. So, away we go!
I told Peter the other night that this feels like an adventure to me-and I'm so excited to see how this will shape us, grow us and open our eyes in new ways.  We sincerely covet your prayers over this-thanks in advance for already doing this.  I'm hoping to keep this blog updated as much as possible to reflect back on, keep people updated on what is happening and hopefully to inspire others that this is possible for their families too!