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!